The end of term is closing in. When my step daughters were the age of my daughter I would scoff at peoples suggestion about the exhaustion that comes from 10 weeks of listening and learning. There have been tears most days this week, over-tired excitement and a snippet of light into the teenage years as I drag her from her warm bed each morn.
In between the tears is also the discussion about friendships. About the politics of the playground, of the harsh words, the rule changers and the joy of sometimes just playing alone in the dirt with sticks. Some days I want to swap places with her.
Julia Zemiro is my hero. She has the required sass, intellect and fingerless gloves in her new TV show for me to spend time gazing at her, wishing my hair would swish in the same way.
Some days there is no space between me and my daughter – we both fight the frizz in our own personal curly hair wars.
Julia interviewed Alan Brough about his recollections of stepping back to his growing years in NZ. As they sat on the bed in his old dorm at Boarding school he looked out the window and pondered on the art of finding the right friends..
‘its like you set your archetypal friends early on and then you look for them for the rest of your life…so those people are in a way providing comfort and friendship throughout your life just different versions of them.’
When I look around at my life now I see that I’ve collected a random assortment of mates that have been with me for both a long time and a short time. If they were all gathered in a room not many people could spot the similarities – they don’t look the same, dress the same, talk the same but they have common qualities that fit with my idea of what a friend is. They speak their mind, they have intellect and wit and a sense of humour in equal measure and they come together as an entwined support group when I feel myself falling. They catch me.
I had plans to have long meandering talks with my girl over the holidays to offset the continual playground wars discussion but inspiration grabs you in the strangest of places. Perhaps our children are just deciding who their friend type will be as they traverse the asphalt. One of my mates has made the journey with me from those days, one was collected from the uni bar, one from a job long ago and there are some jostling for position from the playground my girl battles in too.
Providing comfort for the long haul is the foundation of a good friend.
Whats your friend type?