My College:
Family Life

The Gift of a New Friendship

Shari Bender


I waited by the door like a giddy kindergartner waiting for my new best friend.

I had never met Amy in person — just through texts, connected by our sons who are college friends and traveling buddies.

And today she was driving an hour and 15 minutes to meet me at my house for an afternoon of hiking, hijinks and happy hour.

I remember meeting Marla more than 20 years ago, when our oldest kids were starting preschool together. Our 3-year-olds became instant friends as little ones can do, and we too hit it off immediately. Four kids and three step kids later, Marla and I have stayed connected through life’s ups and downs and I'm grateful to have remained good friends all this time.

I’ve had many friends throughout the years via my kids, friends by convenience, at least initially. Many of those developed into true lasting bonds, while others ran their course through the changing and diverging paths of our children.

As I reflect back through the years of preschool mom friends, camp friends mom group, dance school moms, private school mom group, religious school parent bonds, I walk through memory lane of my kids’ childhoods, now long in the rear view mirror.

It’s been a while since I made a new friend with one of my kids’ friend’s moms.

Sure glad I did.

Originally shared on CollegiateParent's Facebook page. Find more conversation and community in our College Parent Insiders Facebook group. Photo courtesy of the author.
Shari earned her BA in Communication from Stanford University and freelances all things Communication and Marketing. She is a cat-loving spiritual vegan and former admissions interviewer. With two grown children, Shari is happily and sentimentally embracing her Empty Nest along with her husband of nearly 30 years. Her musings delight parents in numerous publications and online platforms, including CollegiateParent and Grown & Flown.
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