Family Friends

When you become a parent you don’t think that your children will start having an influence on who you become friends with. But they do! One of my best friends is the mum of Daisy’s best friend. How weird is that? Because Daisy made friends with a little girl in playschool, Ruby has Liza as her godmother. And now as Daisy ends her first year of school, I realise that some of the mums and dads I say hello to every morning – and who I will share time with for the next eight years – have slowly become friends. One a really good one. I never expected to make close friends at this stage of my life. Thought that was all done years ago.
I have always admired and envied my mum’s circle of friends. As long as I have been alive, they have been around. I called them ‘Auntie’ and they shared every momentous and mundane moment of my mum’s life, and by association, mine. They know me as well as anyone. Apart from the fact that ‘The Girls’ (as they still call themselves 40 years later) met every other Tuesday night for over four decades, they also chinked drinks and wrapped arms around each other at every significant event in their lives – children’s births, divorces, parties, celebrations, bad days, good days and all the dramas and dilemmas that mark everyday life. There were days when they kept each other afloat and I always wished I had something similar.
But I didn’t. Or so I thought. Sure I don’t have the close knit circle, but I have something else. At my 40th I was pregnant so I decided to have a birthday lunch with my best girlfriends – a disparate group who I realised had also shared every moment of my life with me – just not all at once.
I realised I had a friend from every part of my life, and together they had chinked drinks and wrapped their arms around me for every significant event in my life. But, life has a funny way of keeping the circles intact, like a swirl, making circles within circles. One of the first phonecalls I made after my mum’s stroke was to her best friends. Their devastation was profound and gave depth to mine. Over the last nine months they have kept me afloat. I text them, I ring and ask for advice, they call in to see me when I’m up with mum, and our lives now entwine once again, the love of my mum our common language. My mum’s friends have become mine, friendship stretching generations. And as my new layer of friendships develop around the lives of my children, I hope the circles continue to spiral and my girls too will know that my friends are there for my life and theirs.

About Grin & Tonic by Alana Kirk

Bouncing into middle age armed with courage, ambition and a pair of tweezers (chin hairs for anyone over the age of 45 reading this) I am a writer with a mission: to redefine this midway point in my life when the last thing I want to do is hang up my high heels and become invisible. This is the end of the beginning, not the beginning of the end. A single mum to 3 fabulous girls, an author, and a fundraising consultant, both ends of my candle are on fire. As I enter this new stage of my life, I want to explore what it means for 'mid-aged' women today, who were promised they could have it all, ended up doing it all, and just do not identify with the traditional image of middle age.
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5 Responses to Family Friends

  1. What a fabulously beautiful way of looking at it. I completely understand what you are saying too. I have many varied friends from each stage of my life also. A good chunk of them from childhood and high school. Some wonderful gems I have met through my working life and now, friends who I have met through my boys… we all have a special bond as we're bound by the up's and down's of motherhood… and that is a lifelong bond. Oh, and almost forgot, I also now feel a closeness to the blogging community. Some of the women I have met 'virtually' are very much my cup of tea and I feel grateful for that :o)
    Another great post! Hope you have a lovely weekend xo


  2. So true – and beautifully put. These days all of my new friends come either from blogging or the circle of mums at school, kinder or ballet. As mums I guess we all have so much in common – through all their stages. It's lovely that your mum's friends are able to be so supportive now – that's really touching.


  3. cath c says:

    sounds wonderful, and now her friends are your lifelong ones….


  4. Everyone should have friends like that. They sound wonderful.


  5. What a beautiful post – thank you for sharing


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