Erika Petrelli
Erika Petrelli

Marlowe’s two best friends were over for a bit today, and since I’ve been continuing to think about all the bits and parts of what goes into “back to school” time lately, I asked them about the importance of friends, and friendships. When I posed the question, “Girls, what makes a good friend?” here is what they had to say:

  • Someone you trust, and who trusts you
  • Someone who is still there for you even if you are out sick
  • Someone who gives you gifts or other gestures of love and kindness
  • Someone who loves you, and who you love
  • Someone who helps you when times get rough, and who you want to help too
  • Someone you can tell the truth to
  • Someone who is always there for you
  • Someone who, when you get into a fight, you feel comfortable to just ignore each other for awhile and then forget all about it
  • Someone who, if the above note doesn’t work, you can ask if you can talk it out… and trust that they will take a space with you, use I-Messages, and be able to laugh about it

They said these things while giggling with each other and eating snacks and deciding what to play before everyone had to run off to their different evening sport or extracurricular activity. I observed them so comfortable and happy together, and it took me back to my own pack of friends from fifth grade… friends I still hold dear to this day.

I have many friends that I’ve held onto for nearly 40 years, and some I’ve only recently gathered. None of whom I check in with enough, or get together with enough, or show my appreciation for them enough.  

Not nearly.

But isn’t remarkable when you find someone like that? Someone you just want to tell everything to? Someone you trust with all the parts of you, even the parts you don’t like so much? Someone who automatically makes you feel better just by being near them? Someone who you can safely declare is “your person”?

Hold onto those friendships when you find them—they are diamonds mined from a river of stones.

I love watching Marlowe and these girls together, and love to imagine the very real possibility that they will still be friends when they are in their mid-forties, watching their own children play together.  That kind of human connection is truly remarkable…  and as they navigate this still newish back-to-school time of year, I’m so happy that they have each other by their side.  Because, in the end, life is so much better when navigated together.

What friendship can you honor today?

Erika Petrelli

By Erika Petrelli

Erika Petrelli is the Senior Vice President of Leadership Development (and self-declared Minister of Mischief) for The Leadership Program, a New York City-based organization. With a Masters degree in Secondary Education, Erika has been in the field of teaching and training for decades, and has been with The Leadership Program since 1999. There she has the opportunity to nurture the individual leadership spirit in both students and adults across the country, through training, coaching, keynotes, and writing. The legacy Erika strives daily to create is to be the runway upon which others take flight. If you enjoy these blogs, you should check out her interactive journal, On Wings & Whimsy: Finding the Extraordinary Within the Ordinary, now available for sale on Amazon. While her work takes her all around the country, Erika calls Indiana home.