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Sandwich Generation Support: Part 1, EmotionsSuzanne Shaffer
“Were you all friends before your daughters were friends?” a young man asked me at a wedding recently.
He was pointing to us — three middle-aged women who were chatting, laughing, drinking, and catching up after almost five years of not being connected every week or so through our daughters’ social, sports, and academic lives. While we had kept in touch with an occasional text or coffee over the years, we had not gotten to spend real, quality time together in a long time.
“Us? No. We became friends because of our daughters,” I said.
He looked incredulous. “Wow. That’s cool!”
I didn’t think much about his curiosity until later that night when the DJ announced the last song and we assembled outside in the cool spring evening to light sparklers to send off the new bride and groom. The celebration had ended, but the moment of rekindled friendships still felt warm and sweet.
It wasn’t until I scrolled through the photos of the evening that it hit me: “Wow, that is cool!”
In the most unexpected places like the sidelines of a soccer field or at field day on the playground or huddled in the kitchen at someone’s house serving young men and women a meal before prom, I found enduring, real connections with women whose first connection with me is that our daughters liked each other.
And it was almost a surprise to realize that I had missed having these women in my life daily. These were the friendships that bolstered me, that celebrated our milestones and successes, that encircled me when disappointment and defeat sidelined us.
And I am not surprised as he was that our daughters — our beautiful, fun-loving, kind-hearted, sassy-tongued, headstrong daughters — brought us together initially and again in the moment of celebrating their childhood friend’s wedding.
A shared experience such as raising kids at the same time can be enough to create a long-lasting friendship, even with inevitable time apart as the kids grow older and spread their wings. I cherished this time together, and am already looking forward to the next celebration.
Because a celebration of life's moments, spent together, is always so much sweeter.
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