Monday, May 11, 2009

Make New Friends, But Keep the Old. . .

"Make new friends, but keep the old.
One is silver and the other gold."
----a song I learned in Girl Scouts

I love old friends!! This evening, I met Christy and Abby for dinner and we had such a nice time visiting over a bowl? several bowls of chips and hot sauce.

Christy and I have known each other most of our lives. Our parents were best of friends before either of us was born and our families spent lots of time together when we were very young. As we grew up, our families remained in touch, but since Christy was older than me, we had our own sets of friends. After getting married, she and her husband moved away and we stayed connected only by the friendship of our parents. (here's a picture of Christy, her brother and me in the back--we had lots of sleep-overs while our parents played bridge).I first met Abby when she was a brand new teacher at my school. At that time, she was fresh out of school and teaching kindergarten at a challenging school. I was married, had two children and taught special needs preschoolers at the same school. I don't really remember how, but we became "teacher friends" and then friends away from school, too, despite our age difference.

Fast forward to a few years ago. Abby was teaching at one of the private schools to which I was assigned for inclusion!! We immediately re-kindled our friendship. Shortly thereafter, Christy and her husband moved back to town and she became the preschool director at the same school!! In the years that have passed since then, she and I have shared the loss of our mothers and the loss of my dad. While Abby is in a different stage of life, we all seem to find common ground in our teaching experiences and values.

And every so often, when school gets crazy and life gets crazier, the three of us gather for a "Meeting" (that's what Abby's little girl calls it) where we can catch up with what is going on with each other and enjoy visiting. Our time together usually stretches to at least a couple of hours (and has been known to last even longer a time or two) and good food is secondary to our conversation.
While we don't necessarily do things together socially on a regular basis and all of us have other "best friends", there is something so refreshing and safe about our get-togethers. We have a mutual respect for each other, share similar values and genuinely care about each other and what's going on in our lives. I love old friends!
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