Sunday, August 22, 2010

Lasting Friendship

Three months is a long time to a girl of thirteen years. It is a tenuous age and having one close friend by your side a strong security. Times are turbulent and the friend must move where the family goes—where the work is.
“Three months isn’t long,” I say.

My daughter sees not only empty time but perpetual distance saying, “You’d feel badly if Matt moved or you couldn’t talk to Glenn,” alluding to some of my friends. The conversation doesn’t take place in a vacuum. We are driving home from a visit to family of a friend I’ve had since fifth grade. In his kitchen, days earlier, John had noted, “There probably aren’t many folk like us; who’ve been friends since childhood.”

75 % of us have close friends, while 25% of us have no close confidantes, according to a controversial article in the American Social Review (June 2006). “These close bonds of friendship don’t just happen,” I say, “They take work”

What makes for lasting friendships; camaraderie of close confidantes, as opposed to an acquaintance you’ve known for years? How have we built on that initial connectedness?

Thinking through my rich connections two key components are factors in each friendship I have. We make time to talk; phone-to-phone and face-to-face. We take time to construct common experience. In each strong friendship I have I can name hikes and dinners, bike rides and shows, gut busting laughter and spirit breaking tears. In all these things we aggressively take time to touch base.

My daughter’s only begun that rich adventure we call friendship. You’re well into the journey. What’s set your friendships apart from the rest? What would you say to my daughter? En route I’m hoping that my having more than a handful of heart-healing, soul-stirring friendships speaks through these months and into her years.

Picture courtesy of Collection of The Jewish Historical Society of Greater Hartford

No comments: