The Art of Friendship

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Finding What's Missing

I was drawn to her because she is lovely and warm. But what made me decide I wanted to be friends with her was what I knew I could learn from her. She makes the parts of motherhood I found overwhelming seem not only possible but easy, even fun. I like her resourcefulness, her patience, her calm in the face of toddler anarchy.

When I met Ronni I was working full-time, my marriage was as stressed as I was, and any time I spent with my kids felt like time away from something I needed to be doing to keep the whole machine running. We never discussed it, but my friendship with Ronni contributed to my decision to work part-time, so that I can enjoy my children in the way she does hers. She inspired me to take inventory of my own life and to attend to how it wasn't making me happy.

I keep up with my old friends as much as distance allows, but I'm finding my new friends equally nourishing. "She and I both say, 'I wasn't even looking for a friend when I met you,'" says Jenna McCarthy, 39, a mother of two in Santa Barbara of her friend of three years, Kirsten. "But until I met her, I hadn't realized how much was missing from my life. I'm happier now that she's my friend."

Continued on page 4:  Be a Better Friend


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