In high school and college your friends and social circle are pretty large and exciting.
Early in life, you have best friends you are with all the time and tell everything to. They are your rock; the people you look to when you need help and support, or a really good laugh.
Then you have good friends you hang out with quite a bit. They don’t know you as well but you have some things in common and they are fun and all but the connection isn’t as strong as it with your besties. Kind of like Plan B friends—they are good enough to hang with when no one else is around but not your first choice.
There are also the sort of friends you’d chatted it up with a parties and think, I should spend more time with them they are great, yet you never do but are relieved when they are in a room where you know no one else so they can be your wingman in an uncomfortable situation.
Then, as you grow up, start careers and get married, your circle might get a bit tighter and consist of people you simply have more in common with. You start talking about recipes, homeowners’ insurance and the best way to mulch leaves.
But since you are a parent, you know the real friend editing comes after you’ve had kids. There are friends who drop like acorns falling from the trees on a late fall day. Some of this shift happens from people excusing themselves from your life, and sometimes it is you who no longer holds space for them.
You are tired, undergoing a huge life-change, and aren’t free to go out whenever you wish.
At first this bothered me. I didn’t understand why my single friends didn’t understand my new life; that I was a mother and had limited time and wanted to talk about breast-feeding and my daughter’s diaper rash.
And I’m sure they weren’t pleased that I wasn’t as curious about the date they’d had the night before, or upcoming wedding plans and couldn’t go shopping or to the movies at a moment’s notice.
It’s not because you don’t care about one another any longer; this pulling away from each other just kind of happens.
But then I realized something that keeps getting cemented in my mind with each passing year, especially as my kids get older: I don’t want or need a lot of friends. I want true friends.
The truth is, there aren’t many of those to go around. And as you delve deeper into motherhood you realize your time is focused on The Real, The Meaningful, The True, And The Trusting.
You carve out time for the people who make you feel good and give to you what you give to them in your friendship—there simply isn’t time to make room for anything else.
We teach our kids as they grow to only focus on the relationships that feel healthy. We tell them not to waste their time with those who don’t make time for them. And sometimes we have to look in the mirror and wonder if we are practicing what we preach.
There seems to be a stigma around not having a lot of friends or not being very social.
The friends I have (the very few friends I have) don’t care how many girlfriends they have to reach out to.
They care about trust, quality friendships, and knowing if they don’t have time to see them for a month it will be okay.
We are fulfilling each other in every way a friendship should and when that happens, you don’t need a lot of mediocre relationships because your cup is already full.
Friendship is beautiful, it should make us feel as such. And you know what else is beautiful? Sharing that with a few others who are on the same page; who get you; and who will tell you if you have an inspection sticker on your butt when you are out to dinner.
On Motherhood: Being Tommy Lee Jones