How Do You Maneuver Friendships?

best friendHow do you maneuver friendships?  It makes it sound like we are soldiers in war.  Well, at times it may feel like that!

There are lots of different kinds of friendships that we experience in life. There are those rare friendships that you have from childhood — they may seem to come and go over the years, but they remain in tact.  There are friendships you develop out of necessity — because your kids are in the same class in preschool.  These may last, but you never can tell.  There are friendships that end over something big (or small), but may come back around at the most unexpected moments, and there are friendships that you thought were valuable at a certain time in your life, but were really there to help you learn a lesson.

When Emily was in preschool, we became good friends with seven or eight other families.  Most of them had boys, but we really enjoyed the adults and there were a few girls in the group to make Emily happy too. We planned Pokeno nights for the moms and picnics for the families. When we all graduated and moved on to elementary school, we went to five different schools!!!  We saw these friends occasionally, but not as often as we used to.  It was time to make new friends — not just for Emily, but for me too!

It felt a lot like high school.  There were the mean girls, the slackers, the cheerleaders, the Disney/theatre geeks, the woo woos, and the brainiacs. These were different types of moms and each had pros and cons.  I should admit right now that on any given day (or minute), I could fit into any and all of these categories!  But people cannot be defined by only one thing — this isn’t a John Hughes movie! As I got more involved in the school, I spent more time with some parents.  I tried to stay away from high drama, but sometimes it couldn’t be helped.

I didn’t think about friendships so strategically.  I liked who I liked, and my kids liked who they liked.  Sometimes, the two would collide — other times, not so much.  The friendships that I made when Emily was in elementary school seemed like friendships I would have forever.  But that wasn’t always the case.  Every year would bring new people together.  There would be years when you spent A LOT of time with one family, and then another year you wouldn’t because they weren’t in your class. Unless we made a concerted effort to see people, it wouldn’t happen.

Like Emily, I was forging a path.  Trying to navigate the waters wasn’t always easy, and I know I made some mistakes along the way.  It happens. We all do it.  The important thing is to learn from those mistakes so we don’t make them again and again.

As Emily moves on to middle school, we will both encounter new people.  Hopefully, we can take the lessons we learned from elementary school and succeed.  We will continue to learn and grow from every experience and find a few new friends along the way.  AND some old friends too!  Most of the preschool families are headed to the same middle school, so I think we can start planning Pokeno again and a couple of picnics too!

Here’s to your success!



Sarah is a native Los Angeleno with the heart of a Chicagoan.   She loves A Cappella music, cooking, and swing dancing. When she’s not helping raise money for schools, sports teams and clubs, she is hanging out with and loving life with her husband and girls. For more information about what she does professionally, check out

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