Long-term relationships go through many stages and that’s perhaps most noticeable in the case of a relationship that begins when one person is a child. Such is the case with my relationship with the young woman mentioned in Friday’s Blog. I eagerly anticipated the birth of this person and I was there to hold her in my arms just hours after she was born. When she was a toddler, she spent the night before Easter with us while her parents had a night alone and we showed her how to hunt for Easter Eggs in the morning. As a young girl beginning to grow up, I gave her a small string of “pearls” – her first. She and her siblings have always been a part of our family. A few years ago, this young woman went off to college and we saw less of her – mostly at holidays and in the summer. When she’s been home and we’re there, it’s always as part of a large group (there are six children in our family and five in theirs). This past Thursday when she and I had lunch together and spent the afternoon touring her college, it was the first time I can remember spending one-on-one time with her in many, many years. I was so pleased to find that the basis of the literally lifelong relationship easily merged into a relationship of friends. No longer is she the baby whose diaper needs changing or the little girl who scraped her knee. She is a beautiful young woman and I loved finding myself in the role of her older, but dear, friend. And how strange to find myself in that “older” role and loving it!
Sometimes the stages of a relationship go unnoticed as we change slowly over time, but sometimes, when the change is the dramatic change of twenty years beginning with birth, the stages of the relationship are blatantly evident. How wonderful to find a new friend, a new relationship, with someone who has always been a friend.