“You can never have too many friends” those words were drilled into my head as a kid. When there was a new girl on the block that I didn’t want to play with. When my friends and I were playing in the pool and my Dad noticed that someone hadn’t been invited. When I didn’t like someone or didn’t think I had anything in common with someone or when I simply wasn’t in the mood to make friends, there were the words, “you can never have too many friends”.
Last weekend my brother got married and my mom wound up in the hospital and my son started school. It was quite the week.
I had to get my son to school, I had to get myself ready for the wedding, I had to contact family and friends and let them know that I wasn’t sure if my Mom would be at the wedding. I talked to my Dad a dozen times before noon most days. It was exhausting.
But it was also eye-opening.
My friend from Moms Club watched my kids so I could get my hair done. A friend I met at soccer drove Jack to practice since I couldn’t take him. When my friends heard my mom was sick I had texts offering thoughts and prayers. Two of my friends volunteered to go to the hospital pick my mom up and get her to the wedding.
Friends my Dad has known since grade school called me on the phone to see how I was doing and made sure I had a drink in my hand at the wedding. My mom’s friends offered to help in any way. Her friends from grade school texted me for updates and asked if they could help. One of her friends volunteered to go to the store and get her medication. A group of her friends drove her to the wedding. My brother’s friends were ready to help. I received more hugs than I could have imagined.
I could go on and on. But all of these people from different parts and places in our lives came together and made sure that we were okay, that anything that needed to be was taken care of.
I had never been so grateful for friends as I was last Saturday.
It’s easy to get comfortable in your group of friends. It’s easy to take friendship for granted. To give it a back seat to kids, career, and marriage. It’s easy to think you don’t have the time or need friends. But I’ve learned the older I get the more I need my friends. And I’ve found that the older I get the richer my friendships are. I’ve learned that there is joy in picking up all different kinds of friends along the way.
You can never have too many friends.
I used to roll my eyes at those words. The same way Jack does now when I say them to him when he doesn’t want to meet the new kid at the bus stop or when he complains that he doesn’t need to make new friends.
And I hope that someday he too realizes just how true those words are.