In my younger years, I was one of the girls who only made friends with boys. Later, I grew to become a woman who wisely realized that I needed women in my life. But somehow I always felt I had to compromise my self somewhat to fit in with then. Men I thought, were more accepting of me and my quirks.
Now, I’m reading a book–Joy for Beginners by Erica Bauermeister. A wonderful book about a woman recovering from cancer who challenges each of her five women friends to do what terrifies them most with insightul results. The book made me think about the joys I’ve been experiencing reecently and how they came about. I’m making new friends and acquaintences–one. a Hungarian divorcee whose daughter is my daughter’s BFF. Through play dates we’ve become fast friends and recently signed each other up as emergency contacts for aftercare. And today while waiting for the school bus I noticed an Indian woman releasing her little girl to join my daughter and her BFF–the three of them in matching assembles of pink, purple, and white. Later my daughter told me the girl was a member of their trio. And perhaps, I thought an opportunity for me to make another friend in my community! On my daily walks I meet the same elderly Chinese woman at the same point along my path. She speaks little English but always communicates to me in ways that make it clear that she is complementing my look and carriage, starting my day on a bright note. Today, at the bus stop I noticed her acting in grandmotherly fashion toward my daughter and her two BFFs, a proud senior matron escorting chattering charges on to the school bus.
I correspond routinely with my daughter’s teacher–sort of an email pal and it’s reassuring to know she looks out for my daughter, whose frequently surprised at how much I know about what’s happening with her in class, not being there myself!
Recently, my daughter’s school announced that they will be hosting an International Family night in March and I decided to volunteer, offering Nigerian artifacts, something I would’ve avoided in the past in my attempt to minimize differences. Now, looking forward to it!
What I’ve learned so far is that differences make each and every one of us unique and interesting, and ultimately more appealing.
The more time we spend with each other the more the benefits become abundantly clear.
And…vulnerability is a good thing.