Friends, near and far

Most of the “friends” people make at work are friends out of convenience. You happen to be in the same place at the same time, doing similar work for a similar mission (or so you tell yourself), and so because you have to spend so much time together, you end up forming bonds. You learn each others’ senses of humor, what ticks, what tickles, and it gets comfortable. It’s no wonder so many office romances happen all the time.

But most of the time, all that “friendship” kind of ends once you stop working at the same company. You no longer are forced to spend time together, and you no longer have the same company or set of colleagues to complain and gossip about. Grievances are no longer shared. You move onto your next company and bond with your next set of colleagues in a similar way. So when you do meet friends at work who do remain your friends long after you no longer work at the same company, it’s a really nice feeling, a comforting one that is actually a real friendship.

Tonight, a former colleague and friend from my last company came over to see Kaia and have dinner with us. The last time I had seen her was when I was about eight months pregnant. Since then, she has since moved to Dallas for work, and so our times overlapping in the New York/New Jersey area have been almost zero since her Texas move. We talked like we had never really been apart, and it still felt good and comfortable, almost like we’d been friends our whole lives. Nothing felt awkward or forced. We’d had a few text and Zoom conversations since her move, but no in person time. I caught her up on all of Kaia’s developmental milestones and personality quirks. We shared about our dysfunctional relationships with my parents and her dad. We talked about letting go of expectations for people we can’t control. Even though she’s almost eight years younger than me, I’ve always felt like she was wise beyond her years. I’m sure it has to do with the fact that given her dad abandoned her family, as the oldest, she felt like she had to be the second mom/caregiver of the family amongst her brothers and younger sister. Everyone has their own story to share about how they got to be the way they are.

My friend even came with a gift for Kaia. My sweet baby Pookster has no idea exactly how lucky she is to have so many aunties who love her and oogle over her, near and far.

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