By Amanda Dressman
This was the first of many, many times that my mother said to me “well if everyone were jumping off the bridge, would you jump off the bridge?” (As I’m typing that, it has me thinking-does every single mom use that phrase at least once?! Is it like in the mom handbook?! I never hear dads saying it, so it must just be a mom thing, right?).
As much as my friend made me feel like I needed to conform to her rules to be “cool”, I knew that what my mom said was true. At 8 years old I was able to begin, at a very basic level, to think about my friends and what made good ones and what made bad ones and that sometimes friendships just sorta, fizzle out.
Now that I’m a mom, not only have I used the old jumping off the bridge analogy several times, but I also let my kids know that it’s okay to outgrow friendships, it’s okay to re-evaluate what we are looking for from our friends and maybe what they are even looking for from us. It’s okay to be the cool kid and it’s okay to be the uncool kid as long as we are being kind to everyone. Including being kind to those friends that hurt us.
Sometimes friends who we cherished and loved for years may simply choose a different path than what we are currently on, and that’s okay. Just as we evolve, so do our friendships and whether we have one friend or five hundred friends all that matters is that they make us happy. My boys love when I share memories and experiences from my childhood with them.
Sometimes us moms forget that a lot of the time we’ve been right where our kids are at. So share your stories, show them that you can relate, you’ve been there, done that. If anything, it gets them talking to ya, because let’s face it they always have a question about whatever it is that I’m sharing with them and the question usually starts with “so back in your day....” which I kindly remind them that I’m not that old...or am I?
Amanda is a busy mom to three boys and wife to Gary, who is trying to navigate through this thing we call life while still maintaining sanity. Previous teacher and current CEO of the Dressman household.