My values of genuine friendship trace back to my own high school years, specifically when I found out I was going to be a mommy during my Senior year. The big crowd I once hung out with shrank fast. The special ones that showed their support then are still around now in one way or another.
When my daughter was born, I knew that I wanted my daughter to be raised around some top notch role models who had great morals and who valued education. The three Godmothers I picked for her have similar qualities; all three have a Masters Degree, mentoring hearts, and nurturing spirits. All three serve our communities in major ways. They do have unique personalities and life experiences yet the three have always shown to have the best interest in my and my daughter’s life.
The three of them, Alma who baptized my daughter, Liz P. who was her first communion Godmother and Liz L. who was her confirmation Godmother, have always been there for my daughter, however they stepped in big during my daughter’s high school years.
Alma took my daughter to visit colleges across the country when I could not afford it. Liz L. helped her with college essays when my daughter and I argued on topics. Liz P., picked her up for frequent lunch/shopping trips where I am positive they had off the record conversations where she always gave her the best advice. These women are her mentors, and my daughter knows that she can count on them for anything. I picked some amazing women for her and they are my Comadres!
A few other sister-friends, who are also blessings in my life as they came in during challenging times, such as Monica, Daniela, Valerie and Esme. They have also witnessed my single mommy struggles. They along with my momma, have given me advice when I needed it as well as priceless support when I was unsure about how to deal with messy situations. These women have been around for the good and ugly; my daughter has witnessed the unconditional support and loyalty that we give each other.
My daughter had a challenging time with friends through her early years in school. Either there was gossiping and jealousy or combination of both. By the time she was in high school she had her share of friendship heart breaks, and I remember always telling her not to rush friendships and that time shows us all who will end up in our tight circles.
In the 10th grade, she started a new school, where she hung out with a couple of cliques before she found her squad. This time around she hard learned a thing or two about friends, and she picked her circle wisely. She didn’t rush into new friendships. We talked about the importance of nurturing friendships, picking people who uplift us as well as uplift others. Letting go of people who are simply no good for the soul is also something we often talked about.
Before my daughter left to college, she said her “see you laters” to her friends ALL summer, the group of eight ladies shrank each time they went night swimming, as each one embarked on to their college horizon. They got through high school together and now all of them are in seven different universities, in different cities across the country. They have their plans to meet up during breaks. I’m almost sure they will pick up right where they left off when they see each other.
With this came the male friend conversations. Many friendships came and went for my daughter. She learned to let go of friendships that were no good, even when her heart hurt. Respect and honesty are important qualities that are not bargained.
When it was time to pack and load her college load, her friend Silas helped her pick long dresses instead of short ones, entertained my five-year-old while we sorted towels and sheets, and carried boxes down the hill along with her Grandpa. She has witnessed the importance of a supportive circle, the size is irrelevant so long as it’s a genuine one.
My daughter’s college departure aches my heart, yet the support I’ve received has been heartwarming; from belated departure packages in the mail for my daughter, weekend lunch plans, to single sentence HAPPY texts messages continue to remind me of how important it is to pick our friends wisely.
I also know I would not have raised such a remarkable young lady without the people in my circle, I have much appreciation for every single person who has walked with us.
Picking the right people makes all the difference not only in the life of a parent, but it impacts the lives of their children.
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