Monday’s Portrait: Portrait of a Friend
On our recent trip to Pennsylvania and Washington D.C., we stayed five nights in Pittsburgh with my dear friend Nicolle, her husband Drew and their West Highland Terrier, Oban. One night during our stay, after settling my boys in their beds, I came downstairs to find my seven year old daughter, Hattie, curled up on her pillow with a happy little smile on her face. Nicolle was lying next to her and they were talking – sharing silly stories about Oban licking a toad, and the whispered words that come straight from a little girl’s heart. I could tell that Hattie loved her girl-talk with Nicolle, and that it made her feel important.
I knew just what she meant. I felt exactly the same way.
Nicolle made me feel just as important as Hattie during our time together. I admire her so much – her successes in her professional life, her laughter, her loyalty to those she loves. I hope she felt it. I felt her appreciation for me, or at least for my loud, crazy, happy bunch of kids – though that is perhaps more a testament to her patience than to my children! But her acceptance and admiration made me better appreciate my life – my family and my kids. Made me sure of and happy for the choices I’ve made, and I thank her so much for that.
Recently I heard a piece on public radio about the prevalence of bullying among girls. About ”mean girls”, and how they keep getting younger. I worry about Hattie, and how she will navigate the rocky waters of female relationships throughout her school years, and even beyond. So many factors can undermine our friendships: jealousy, competition, insecurity. Learning generosity and kindness can be such a challenge. But Hattie has something invaluable in help her figure all of that out. She has Nicolle. And the example of just how precious and good a friend can be.