Today, mostly due to smart phones and the internet, children have no sense of distance. To them, New York City might as well be as close as Apex is to Raleigh. After all, they can talk to someone on the other side of the world with a few clicks on the keypad, so we should be able to go anywhere we want in record time, like the Jetsons, right?
This is how I ended up in Boston this past weekend. Two years ago, my daughter's dear friend moved from Cary to Boston. They kept in touch through FaceTime and texting. My daughter asked me constantly if we could go to Boston.
"Sure, we will," I said already on to the next thing in my mind even as the words came out of my mouth.
"No, you're just saying that. I know you don't really mean it," she would say to her distracted mother as she sulked out of the room.
Finally, she stopped asking, and I noticed. I decided it was time to make good on my promise. It had been two years since the girls saw each other, and if I kept putting it off, it would be another two years. I thought of my own long distance friendships that I failed to nurture and wished I had handled them with more care. So, I booked a trip to Boston.
Immediately, the girls re-connected, which is no small feat for self-conscious middle schoolers navigating the choppy waters on the precipice of the teen years. Once they started talking, I became invisible. Instantly, I knew I had made the right decision.
I also took the opportunity to see one of my dear old friends that I hadn't seen in more than a decade. Like my daughter and her friend, once my friend and I started talking, we didn't stop. I felt like I knew what had been going on in her life from Facebook, but it was more that old familiar feeling from our shared history that connected us again. I vowed not to let so much time pass between visits again. I instantly knew I had made the right decision.
So, on a brisk June weekend when I was missing the early North Carolina summer, this country girl braved big city traffic, criminal parking fees, and fall-like temperatures, but returned with a full heart. Old friends are good for the soul.
Amanda is the mom of two, a reporter for WRAL-TV and the author of several books including some on motherhood. Find her here on Mondays.