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Go Ask Mom

Amanda Lamb: Friendship over miles

Posted February 24, 2013

Recently, we learned that one of my younger daughter’s best friends is moving to Boston. They had a playdate the other day, and this is how the conversation went:

“OK, well then can I come with you?” my daughter asked.
“Sure,” her friend said. “That would be great!”
“Mommy, how far is Boston?” my daughter asked me.
“A long way,” I answered honestly.

It’s hard to explain to children what goodbyes mean. I’ve said them so many times in my life. They have come with every transition — new neighborhoods, new schools, new jobs.

And while we always vow to stay in touch, we know that our lives are generally governed by people who live in close proximity to us. Even more than that, they are governed by people we see on a regular basis - our families, our co-workers, our neighbors, our closest friends. Friends

While the internet has shrunk the world to a place where we can see our old friends’ photographs on a daily basis, “liking” someone’s snowman picture is not the same as connecting with them in real time.

Sometimes, Facebook actually makes me more wistful for the friends I have left behind in other places — places like Boston, New York, New Mexico, Los Angeles. I see their photographs of their lovely children that I have never met, and wish we could meet for coffee.

What I will tell my daughter is that the beauty of true friendship transcends time and miles. Everyone knows that seeing old friends is good for the soul. And when you do, if the friendship is for real, you will reconnect like no time has passed.

I plan to do this in a few weeks at my upcoming college reunion. (The anniversary date is purposefully left out!)

“OK, my mom says we can’t move there,” my daughter tells her friend, thinking I’m out of earshot. They are sharing a snack at the kitchen table. “So, I’ll just have to visit every weekend!”

Amanda is the mom of two, a reporter at WRAL-TV and the author of several books including three on motherhood. Find her here on Mondays.


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  • LMRA Feb 26, 2013

    My best friends are my college friends and, over the years, we have spread out across the country. My BFF lives in upstate NY while I've been in NC for 15 years. We e-mail every day and talk maybe once every 2 weeks. It's not the same but when you're besties, the miles shrink. I agree - sometimes seeing friend's pictures makes you want to be with them to share those special moments but I admit - technology has made staying in touch so much easier! They'll both be fine - and will continue to be best friends forever.

  • snowl Feb 25, 2013

    Make New Friends (A Classic Scout Song)

    Make new friends,
    but keep the old.
    One is silver,
    the other is gold.
    A circle is round,
    it has no end. That's how long, I will be your friend.

    A fire burns bright, it warms the heart. We've been friends, from the very start.

    You have one hand, I have the other. Put them together, We have each other.

    Silver is precious, Gold is too. I am precious, and so are you.

    You help me, and I'll help you and together we will see it through.

    The sky is blue The Earth is green I can help to keep it clean

    Across the land Across the sea Friends forever We will always be

  • Uhavenoclu Feb 24, 2013

    It's only goodbye if you want it to be goodbye. Doesn't matter if you are right next to them or a thousand miles away people have always found ways to keep their friendship going,from letters to now emails,and social networks.If people want to keep their friendship and yes even their love going they will find ways to keep in contact.
    Friendship and Love are always a phone call away.You have a bright daughter and I'm sure there are plwnty waiting to step in and fill the void of being her best friend.