“Wow, these kids are getting old”, I recently said to friends that I had the great pleasure of reconnecting with quite unexpectedly. Their sons that I remember as teenagers are now “suddenly” in their 30’s and, as I shudder a bit, their 40’s. I shared that my own “babies” are rapidly approaching grown men status in their own right. One of them already has.
We met over a meal, of course, and somewhere between the empanadas and the arroz con pollo began to share stories of the Life that transpired in the years that passed since we last shared a table together. Many of the stories were funny, light and joyful. Some were sad and even tragic. All were real and authentic and have molded us into the people that we are today. Many of the stories were not necessarily the ones that get posted or “liked” on social media or in casual conversation. Those, however, are the ones that seemed to matter the most.
Throughout the smiles, hugs and conversations one thing became crystal clear. True friends are the ones who we can keep it real with while being sure that they will keep things real with us. The timelines of our lives tend to be measured by the passing of events or accomplishments. These are often celebrations, achievements and the culmination of aspirations. It’s less often that we share our struggles, disappointments or failures and even less the case that we open up about how we felt during those unpleasant moments.
We caught up on many weddings, births, separations, funerals, graduations and homes bought and sold by the time the flan and coffee came around. We also shared how we dealt and are dealing with the losses and the pain that balance and season the joys. In between the hugs and kisses ‘till next time we acknowledged that yes, the kids are getting older, and even though it doesn’t really feel like it… We’re getting older too. We promised not to let years pass until we share our next meal together and we reinforced with and without words that friendship is food for life.