Last night I had a great night out with my old school friends. One friend lives in the States and is in a Australia for a month. We always use her visits as an opportunity for a catch-up.
We laughed and laughed and were very noisy (poor neighbours). At one point we were asked what we remembered most about our time at school. I remembered getting off the bus after school, walking to the cake shop and hanging out in the park next to my house. We used to spend a lot of time in that park in Year 11. I remembered how we just had hours to spend chatting and laughing. What did we talk about when we'd just spent all day together at school?
Uni was another time in my life where I seemed to have a lot of time for friendships. Lots of time to develop deep relationships in a short amount of time. Many of those relationships remain my closest friendships today. And having small children. Long days to fill up where there was nothing better than finding another mum with kids the same age to spend time with.
The times where I've made the strongest friendships seem to relate to having time. I still have lots of lovely friends now but I don't seem to have as much time (or energy perhaps) to invest in strengthening those friendships. My best relationships probably develop when I see people regularly - at school or church.
Last night was a good chance to reflect on the value of those long-term friendships. Those girls know me well and I trust them, even though my contact with them is limited now.
When I was pregnant with our No 5 child, I went out for dinner with this same group of girls. Everyone else we'd told, politely said things like, "wow, that's great - big family - big blessing - you're game". When I told these girls, they just laughed and laughed and said, "you're joking Jenny. You are CRAZY"! I knew I'd get the truth with these girls!