But Will They Dig Up Your Dog For You?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

If you’ve read this blog for any amount of time, you would know that we are big fans of photoblogger Karen of Chookooloonks.com. This week on her blog, Karen made a great suggestion: grab a slip of paper and write the names of your friends on it.

But—and this is the key part—not just the smiling face from your yoga class or the entertaining co-worker.

This is a list of friend-to-the-end folks. That special breed of person who could play you in movie, they know you that well. The confidante, the one you trust with all things both dear and desperate. This is a list for the …

Got your back through anything friends

… Tell you the truth and then sit with you—tissue in hand—while you process it friends

… Help you pack up 37 boxes and drive the oversized moving truck friends

… Or, in those I-can-explain-later instances, help you dig up your dead dog friends

These are the people who you would go to war for (or maybe smear some Vaseline on your face for, tucking your hair back and asking somebody to hold your earrings), no questions asked, no judgments cast.

It’s those friends’ names that need to be written down on the short list and stashed somewhere, in your wallet or desk drawer, or pinned up high on your vision board.

As Karen mentioned in her post, perhaps your list has five names or maybe there’s just one.  The number doesn’t matter. What does, is knowing that these people exist on this list and in your life—rooting for you, coming when you call, wishing you only good things, and steadying you in both sunshine and monsoons.

That piece of paper is a lottery ticket. You are rich just having it.

I’ve written before about how friendships may change once you move into motherhood. The common ground you once shared with others has shifted. The relationship will feel different; it’s inevitable and it’s normal. But—and it’s not overstating things to say this—it is crucial, despite all the transformation and reordering going on in your new-mom life, to have at least one name on that list.

As a new parent, you need a firm shoulder, a wide ear, a soft voice. You need someone who will be there—silent and nodding or with sleeves rolled up and a plan—as your one person, as your friend.

  • 1
    Mike says:

    Great advice for parents to be and new parents. The list is what gets you through when you don’t know day from night and you overthink every step you take. The people on this list are the ones who let you know that you’re not alone and that *everybody* is winging it in the beginning and that you figure it out on your own.

    I need to go make my list now…

    • 1.1

      Thanks for reading, Mike. It really is crucial, having a list of real friends to— like you said—remind you that you’re not alone in this thing.