Appreciating Friendship by @FiveLittleDoves

I'm sure we can all agree that this last year has been a learning curve for us all. Whilst some have risen to the challenge of navigating life during a pandemic, many others have struggled and I most definitely fall into the latter. Although in the beginning I was very grateful for the extra time spent with our children, as the days turned to weeks, and the months passed by, I soon realised that as much as family is everything, I rely heavily on those around us for support, and I missed that so much.

I've had a lot of time to think over the last twelve months, to reassess the things I took for granted, the people I assumed would be there no matter what, the convenience of having grandparents to step in and help with the kids, the friends who would pop by and put the world to rights over a brew and a Custard Cream, the children's teachers who showed the patience of saints when I, quite clearly, did not. And as much as we are all wishing for better times ahead, to rediscover our freedom and our carefree attitude to life, I am so grateful for the last year and the huge reminder to really appreciate those around me.

And I don't just mean the obvious people in your life such as your parents or your best friends, that goes without saying. This year has showed me that it's not just about those who have been there for you your whole life but those who stepped in when things got tough and reminded you of how strong you can be, how capable you are, how through the darkest of days they are right there holding your hand, albeit at a distance.

It's the school mums in the WhatsApp group, allowing you to vent over fronted adverbials and the fact your child just can't keep still for more than two seconds. It's an old friend on the other end of the phone who lives hundreds of miles away but still holds your hand through every single bad day. It's the friend who humours you through all 573 of your COVID scares, who keeps you company during those long nights of insomnia, the one who always knows the best memes to make you laugh, even on the days you might not feel like it.

It's the old school friend who reached out when things got tough, the family member who showed up just when you needed them the most, the friend you'd long lost touch with who knew, more than anyone else ever could, that you'd be struggling during a year when you had very much lost control of everything else. It's the strangers on the internet who came forward to act as confidantes and offer advice, your next door neighbour who checks in if he hasn't spotted you for a few days just to see how you're doing, the lady in the corner shop who knows that you you just need five minutes of adult conversation before you go back home to the kids.

And there is nothing more lovely than telling others how much you appreciate them, or indeed having others reciprocate that back too, and I know for our children, that's been something we have really drummed into them this year. We've spent a lot of time baking cakes for doorstep deliveries, writing cards and drawing pictures to send to family and friends, taking time to really appreciate how lucky we are to have such supportive and loving people in our life and making sure they know just how grateful we are in return.

In years to come when we look back on this time, when life returns to normal and we are back to dashing about, juggling our daily routine, struggling to find time for that phone call or meet up in an otherwise busy schedule, I like to imagine those we love discovering our cards in the back of a drawer, the pictures the children drew or the kind words we had shared, and feeling all warm and fuzzy inside that no matter what, we appreciated them at one of the most difficult times of our lives.


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May 05, 2021