Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers. ~Charles W. Eliot

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Meeting the friends

Last night, one of our daughters had a few school friends sleep over. The girls who came over were all new friends who our daughter only met this year so I didn't know them very well. It was important to our daughter that I get to know her new friends a little better so she asked me to make sure I'd be around to chat with them a bit. I confided to my colleagues at the office that I felt like I was being set up just a little because it's difficult to draw that line between being the parent who is engaged and engaging and the parent who wears out her welcome and mortifies her teenagers. My colleagues were exceptionally reassuring and I left work yesterday feeling up to the task. I prepared myself for the challenge ahead so much that I almost didn't know what to do with myself when I realized that there was no challenge at all. I realized that as long as you pay attention to your teenager, you can read their cues. I knew exactly when it was ok to enter a conversation and when it was time to exit. I'm not sure why the cues were so sharp and clear but I think it had a lot to do with the group assembled. It was a group of bright, beautiful, fabulous young ladies who exuded intelligence, authenticity, and mutual support. To feel that your child has chosen friends well at such a critical point in their lives is an outstanding sensation. Despite the fact that they yapped until nearly 4 am, which made the dog growl and keep me awake most of the night, I felt happy and peaceful. My daughter has found her people and they're good people. Of course, I also felt exhausted. Now, if only I could decipher the cues relating to those terrifying mood swings...

For girls, friendship is a sacred sisterhood. The latest installment in Ann Brashares' Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, Sisterhood Everlasting, is now available. The Traveling Pants books (and movies) are well known and loved by today's young adults. Now they have a chance to see how Tibby, Lena, Carmen, and Bridget have grown up and how they come back together.

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