Our Keepsake Journal is Here! 🎉

When it comes to friendship and acclimating to new environments, my daughter and I had very different childhood experiences. By her sophomore year, my daughter had lived in four states and attended two high schools. Just as she got comfortable in a town and solidified her friends, we would uproot her to start all over again.

I, on the other hand, was raised in the same small town where I ultimately went to college (go Cougs!). The only friendship navigating I did was avoiding the incestuous relationships among the 170 people in my graduating class. There were rarely new kids. Friendship groups were well established by middle school. My social experience was more about surviving the status quo than being forced to branch out and meet new people.

As a mom, there is no greater feeling than being in awe of your children. Therefore, it’s no less than mind-blowing pride I feel watching my daughter navigate the turbulent waters of relocating across the country in the middle of high school and painfully observing her fight through loneliness, finding friends, developing her identity, and most importantly finding her voice. I have a great amount of admiration for her strength with the adversities she has faced. 

I have done my fair share of unsolicited advice-giving and protective over-involvement. But, in my quieter moments of simply watching my daughter interact with her peers, I’ve learned some valuable lessons about friendship. 

1. It’s a duck.

Like my daughter, I want to believe people are good, loyal, and trustworthy. I want to believe people when they tell me who they are. If someone says they hate drama, I find myself shocked right along with them when that same someone finds herself in the eye of a storm she caused. When I hear someone gossip about others, I am stunned when I find out she is also talking about me behind my back. 

Unfortunately, my daughter and I have both learned the hard way that if it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck. So, even if you want to believe someone is who she says she is . . .  watch her; eventually, she will reveal who she really is. And sometimes it is flat out disappointing.

As the wise Maya Angelou said: “When people show you who they are, believe them the first time.” Emphasis on the show, not the tell. 

2. Friendship is for a season.

As an avid reader and also a lover of metaphors, I think about friendship like books. First, you have the easy beach read. You love getting through the book, recommend it to friends and then move on. It was fun while it lasted. Then you have the books you can only get about 40 pages into and realize it’s not for you and close the cover. And then you have the classics. These are the books you reread, cherish, and keep displayed on your shelf among other treasured favorites. 

I spent the first 20 years of my life with the same friends. It took me time to figure out some friendships just simply don’t last forever. Life gets busy and people change. Friendships evolve for different reasons (relocation, divorce, death, etc.). I used to get really hung up on making sure my friendships withstood the test of time, moves, babies, and whatever other hurdles were thrown in. But I have begun to realize not all friends are classics. And that’s OK. 

In a new technological age where we can stay in constant contact with one another, we need to remind ourselves not all friendships are created equal. Friendships are meant to be enjoyed for the season–whether that season is months, years, or decades. Appreciate the people who land in your life and the moments you have with them. 

Not all friendships are destined to last forever, but enjoy them while you have them. Make sure to treat the classics with care. And if you find yourself in the middle of a learning friendship, learn the painful lesson and let go of the need to learn it again!

3. Quarters are more valuable than pennies.  

A large community of friends/acquaintances is invaluable. It is especially nice to have a village during the child-rearing years. However, never underestimate the value of investing in quality over quantity. 

I only have a handful of close, close friends. These are the ladies I consider my soul sisters. One framed me a quote that perfectly describes our friendship: “A soul sister is someone who fully understands you, like a soul mate, but of the same gender, like a sister, but with no relation.” These are the women who I don’t just do life with. We know each other to the depths of our core–and still want to hang out. 

So, we can run around picking up as many pennies as we can, or we can spend the time looking and waiting for those valuable quarters. I can assure you, when your babysitter bails or you need advice at 10 p.m., a penny may or may not answer the call, but a quarter will be there every single time. 

It’s better to have four quarters than a hundred pennies. 

4. Best friends aren’t the shinest. 

I’ve seen this phenomenon in our last two moves. The kids (moms) who approach the new kid (new mom) first are not always the lasting friendships. They tend to be the extroverted type who are welcoming and wonderful but not always your people. 

It takes time and patience to find and cultivate deep friendships. The good ones are often needles in a haystack. So, be patient and do not settle. Don’t be afraid, don’t rush it. 

The most trouble I ever witnessed my daughter go through is when she took on a large number of new friends, none of whom she knew very well. She learned the hard way that diving in deep with a bunch of strangers could be detrimental. You might just find you’re swimming with sharks. 

It is not a race to find and make lasting friendships. Take it easy and trust yourself.

5. All it takes is one.

Watching my daughter, or any of my kids, go to a new school for the first day makes me absolutely nauseous. Luckily, we have a million kids, so on our last move, each child had a sibling with whom they could take the bus and walk through the ominous school doors. 

As I played scene after scene in my mind of sending them blindly into a pack of wolves, I reminded myself “all they need is one.” On that first day, all my kids needed was one person to be kind to them. Just one person to sit with at lunch or play with on the playground. 

And after that, my prayer was for them to find at least one loyal and kind friend. From that solid foundation, maybe more friendships would form. But I knew on that first day having one person, even if they weren’t the long-term friend, would make all of the difference in transitioning to their new life.

For the first time, I had built-in friendships in our latest move. Knowing those ladies were waiting for me and my family to arrive made all of the difference for my transition, too. 

One close and meaningful friendship can be all it takes.

I would not have wished these lessons on anyone’s teenage child. The school of hard knocks is a brutal place to enroll. However, I am grateful she learned them now, and we continue to learn them together. I trust she will be better for it all. 

There are a couple of layers of silver linings in this clown show of teenage angst. One, my daughter has solidified a really great group of friends, kept in contact with a few of her old ones, and has learned valuable lessons to take with her as she is thrown from the nest in the next couple of years. And also watching the teenage melodramatics unfold, I have a heightened sense of the friend I want to be, and the friends I hope my kids will become. Many of these lessons have been life-changing for our family, especially for a small-town girl like me. 

You may also like: 

Life is Too Short for Fake Cheese and Fake Friends

I Can’t Be Everyone’s Chick-fil-A Sauce

It’s OK to Have Loved and Lost Friends

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Jessica Nazario

Jessica Nazario lives in the Chicagoland area with her SuperHusband, two Bigs (teens), two Littles (elementary-age) and two Ultimate Doodles. They have a loud, loving, chaotic life of moving back and forth across the country. Jessica tripped, fumbled, and fell into the SAHM life after working in corporate America for 10 years. She now blogs and writes about the joys and chaos of motherhood at TheMomReality.com. You can follow her on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/themomreality) or on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/the.mom.reality)

There’s No One Who Gets It Like a Mom Friend

In: Friendship, Motherhood
Mom friends in the park with strollers

I made my first mom friend at six weeks postpartum. I was pushing our son in his brand-new stroller not yet stained by sunscreen or covered in cracker crumbs. My husband spotted her first, gesturing to a woman who looked my age pushing a similarly unblemished stroller with the same bleary-eyed look. “Go talk to her,” he encouraged, sensing what I was too tired to realize at the time, which was how badly I needed a friend who understood what I was going through. We hit it off immediately and discovered we lived just seven doors away from each other....

Keep Reading

She’s the Friend I Hope You Have

In: Friendship, Living
Two women smiling, selfie

Good friends are hard to come by. Life is busy and friendships take a backseat. I’ve never had a large circle of friends, there have always just been a few I’ve kept close. But the ones who stick around, the ones who stay with me when the waves of life are high and when the waves of life are pummeling me, those are the ones to treasure. You don’t talk every day. You don’t see one another every week. But she’s your go-to no matter what because . . . She’s the walk through the grocery store or an early...

Keep Reading

I’m Sorry I Let Our Friendship Fade Away

In: Friendship, Living, Motherhood
Lonely woman watching sunset sitting on swing

Do you ever find yourself reminiscing, longing for the simplicity of youth and the bonds of friendship that once defined your life? For me, those memories often take me back to our college residence hall days when laughter was abundant and friendships were unbreakable. This is a story of regret, redemption, and the enduring power of friendship—a journey that spans decades and explores the depths of human connection. Our residence hall was more than just a place to sleep; it was our sanctuary, our haven of friendship and fellowship. From late-night chats to impromptu adventures, every moment was a treasure,...

Keep Reading

Not Sure If She’ll Join Your Girls Night Out? Invite Her Anyway.

In: Friendship, Living
Woman looking at phone in evening at home

Who doesn’t love dinner out with friends? Maybe some tacos with a slice of cheesecake at the end with lots of laughter and witty or heartfelt conversation. It’s the best. But I’m going to point out something you may not realize. There are people out there you are forgetting to include, and it’s probably not on purpose. You know your really good friend who’s divorced? When you went out for a group couples dinner, did you think to invite her? What about your other friend whose husband is gone for several months on business and who both usually join your...

Keep Reading

Be the Friend Who Meets You In Your Mess

In: Friendship, Living
Two mothers push strollers outside

Be the friend who doesn’t look at the baseboards, the friend who overlooks the dirt. Be the friend who comes to sit and chat at a messy counter still piled high with breakfast plates yet to be cleaned and junk mail yet to be sorted. Be the friend who explains to her husband every week that the extra $20 out of the budget went to a couple of sisters who needed a surprise coffee and a smile delivered to their door. Be the friend who sees your messy bun, unwashed face, and sweatpants and says, “Girl, you look cute,” and...

Keep Reading

Having Kids Shows Who Your Real Friends Are

In: Friendship, Motherhood
Mother and child walking through forest, color photo

Any mom, typical or special needs, will tell you having kids is the fastest way to tell who your real friends are. When your child is born with special needs this process becomes even more severe and obvious. At first, people visit and want to hold the baby, but once the delays kick in slowly people start to pull away. Disability makes them uncomfortable. That’s the truth. They hope you won’t notice, but you do. Honestly, most stop trying altogether. It’s not just friends who act this way either, sometimes it’s family too. That hurts the most. As a parent...

Keep Reading

Why Doesn’t Anyone Talk about How Hard Adult Friendships Are?

In: Friendship, Living
Woman sitting along on couch looking at smartphone

The scary thing about friendship is it’s completely disposable. You actively choose to remain friends. It can dissolve at any time. No one can force you into it. In marriage, you are bound to one another before God. As a parent, you have a familial obligation to your child. But friendship? That comes completely free and clear. You intentionally let them in, let them see your underbelly. Your messy house. Your imperfect marriage. Your rebellious children. Your weirdness, your quirks, your sin. And they can walk away at any moment. Oh, there are a few exceptions. Maybe you work together....

Keep Reading

The Last Text I Sent Said “I Love You”

In: Friendship, Grief, Living
Soldier in dress uniform, color photo

I’ve been saying “I love you” a lot recently. Not because I have been swept off my feet. Rather, out of a deep appreciation for the people in my life. My children, their significant others, and friends near and far. I have been blessed to keep many faithful friendships, despite the transitions we all experience throughout our lives.  Those from childhood, reunited high school classmates, children of my parent’s friends (who became like family), and those I met at college, through work and shared activities. While physical distance has challenged many of these relationships, cell phones, and Facebook have made...

Keep Reading

Friendship Looks Different Now That Our Kids Are Older

In: Friendship, Living, Motherhood
Two women and their teen daughters, color photo

When my kids were young and still in diapers, my friends and I used to meet up at Chick-fil-A for play dates. Our main goal was to maintain our sanity while our kids played in the play area. We’d discuss life, marriage, challenges, sleep deprivation, mom guilt, and potty-training woes. We frequently scheduled outings to prevent ourselves from going insane while staying at home. We’d take a stroll around the mall together, pushing our bulky strollers and carrying diaper bags. Our first stop was always the coffee shop where we’d order a latte (extra espresso shot) and set it in...

Keep Reading

Give Me Friends for Real Life

In: Friendship, Living
Two friends standing at ocean's edge with arms around each other

Give me friends who see the good. Friends who enter my home and feel the warmth and love while overlooking the mess and clutter. Give me friends who pick up the phone or call back. The friends who make time to invest in our relationship.  Give me friends who are real. The friends who share the good, the beautiful, the hard, the messy, and are honest about it all. Give me friends who speak the truth. The friends who say the hard things with love. RELATED: Life is Too Short for Fake Cheese and Fake Friends Give me friends who show up. The friends who...

Keep Reading