Monday, October 10, 2016
Friendships Fast and Slow
Yikes - it's been a while since I've posted. I could tell you things have been busy, like it's an unusual occurrence, but that would be silly. High speed, semi-controlled chaos is our MO.
Something I have been thinking a lot about lately is friendship. I feel like I have clicked lately with some of my nothing-to-do-with-the-military groups of friends. I assumed it was because I now have a slower work life and more time to be more involved in my kids activities. But a chat with a friend (and very wise fellow band parent) made me look at it from a different angle. She said she could always tell a family was military when they moved onto her street, because they always had a wall - a distance - maybe from the knowledge that they would be moving on in a couple of years.
Is that true? Do we do that? I think that might be the case. I had chalked up this distance to our busy Air Force jobs, the frequent travel, the usual working mom/stay at home mom chasm and the lack of mental bandwidth to contribute more to the local community. I believed my growing connectedness resulted from the time and attention I now had since escaping the Pentagon.
I think in the military we short cut to "close friends" a lot - it's one of the best things about the military actually. A friend called and told me his sister was arriving at my base and didn't have a strong sponsor, could I help welcome her? We picked her up from the airport and spent the weekend driving across Tokyo and shopping. This was in 1993 I think. We were bridesmaids in each others weddings, we are god parents to her sons. A few years ago, when we were in Germany, she e-mailed me that a good friend of hers had just arrived and liked wine and cooking, and I should give her a call. This was maybe in 2002? We just had a wonderful dinner with them last night, because thankfully they have moved back to DC. And for many years our three families have gotten together every December to assemble gingerbread houses. Ok, the kids work on the houses, the parents drink wine. We have traveled BY AIR to make this happen :-) and would gladly do it every year because these families have become family.
Civilian friendships don't always click this fast. I am now realizing that it's partly because great relationships take time, and also means being more open myself. I love our community, and am so thankful to become more and more a part of it.