Thursday, May 27, 2010
We know our friends as our friends, we may know them as spouses, even siblings and children, but to me, the greatest gift has been knowing my friends as parents. I'd say some of my best parenting practices have been stolen outright from friends that I admire.
I have a dear friend that lives 3,000 miles away - has for nearly fifteen years. About once a year, however, we've managed to see each other. Fortunately for me, most of our visits have been in her home, which has provided me with not only a break, but a chance to really live and learn from a master.
It was one of the very earliest visits, at the time this friend had a four-year-old and a two-year-old. Doesn't sound fun, does it? But it was. She thoroughly enjoyed her kids at those ages, just as she does now, at fifteen and seventeen. At that time there was tremendous stress in her life, you could almost say it was crisis level. I'll never forget what happened, though. Her husband came home and asked her about the day, and she said, "We had a lot of laughs." Of course my friend and I had had a lot of laughs, but that's not what she was referring to - she was talking about the day spent with a toddler and at that time, hard to regulate four-year-old.
"We had a lot of laughs."
I've thought of that so many times through the years, marveled at her ability to just be present with her kids, to enjoy them, to laugh with them. I've fallen short of this goal to have a lot of laughs with my kids each day, but I can honestly say that that one small scene has made me a better parent, has shifted my thinking, has, best of all, brought about a lot more laughter in this house.