You Can Sit By Me

Today I have experienced some much-needed restoration.
I read some.
I napped.
I got my hair trimmed.

A good trim is like gold, and this time there was a bonus, because I was in line behind these adorable little brothers. I got to watch their Dad beam with pride as they respectfully sat there smiling sweetly through their precious, spiky haircuts. As they were enjoying their lollipops for being good, I had a chance to interact with them a bit. The younger boy, Fenn, who was probably about four years old, was showing off his blue tongue when I overheard his dad at the cash register say that there was a baby at home, so I asked him if their baby was a brother or a sister. In his heartwarming attempt at motherese that made me melt, he said, "A baby sister ...  and she's so tiny." After he told me with a twinkle in his eye that he got to hold her, he confidently patted the bench where he was standing and said,
"You can sit here." 
Clearly there was a story to be told and he had a lot more to say.

You have no idea how badly I wanted to sit next to him.
I longed to sit there.
Yearned, even.
But it was my turn next, so I had to decline.
With my thanks, of course.
The boys reminded me of days gone by,
of my work at Westwood with younger children,
of my own boys, when they were that age.
And I got nostalgic.
It sent my heart soaring and
I've been in a happy mood ever since.

This book has served to extend that happiness and joy.

Written by longtime friends Dr. Sanda Bernstein and Dr. Wendy Rapaport, this handbook is a treasure trove filled with nuggets of wisdom, connection and love. It hooked me early on with this reflection on the therapeutic benefits of friendship:

Wendy's ukulele story in Chapter One reeled me in.
Like me, Dr. Rapaport has recently started playing the ukulele.
And like me, she's over-the-moon with passion for and excitement about the magical little instrument. So she decided to send one to her friend, co-author Sandy, an idea which wasn't met with equal enthusiasm and joy. At all. 
Not one little bit. 
A disconnect, 
a rejected gift, 
a conflict. 
What's a friend to do?

This refreshing newcomer is written as a dialogue between two seasoned friends who have learned how to navigate the ins and outs of healthy relationships. Each chapter showcases skills that they want the reader to understand, to embrace, and to try. Each ends with a few Take-Away reflections. The chapter devoted to the Good Mother in people took me back to the interaction that I saw at the salon this morning between that father and his two sons and it made me want to be a better Good Mother. There's even a chapter on my favorite virtue, empathy, and how giving and receiving it enriches caring connections.

I found this comprehensive friendship gem 
and authentic.

My take-away? Wishing I were their friend and hoping everyone can find a friend like Fenn, who boldly pats the bench near him and says: You can sit by me.

Check out this book; you'll be thankful that you did.

1 comment

I really enjoy hearing from my readers; thanks for sharing your reflections with us!