Learning from friends

5:35 AM

A friend of mine likes to remember our first time hanging out. It is something that sticks in her head as a young mom and someone new to the city that she HATED at the time. It was about two years ago and she had a 10 month old and a three year old. Her husband worked a lot and she was not happy about moving across the world to France.

(As glamorous as living in France sounds to Americans sometimes, you have to remember that all the awesome food aside, leaving one's home is never easy to do. Ever. For so many reasons. And if you want to know those reasons just browse my blog a bit!)

We went to the park with Firecracker (recently turned two) and with my friend's baby. We talked and got to know each other a bit and found ourselves to be rather compatible as friends. And just as te afternoon was too smooth, Firecracker decided to have a temper tantrum. A bit embarrassing the first time you meet a new friend, but what are you gonna do? I strapped her into the stroller, said my good byes and walked away with a screaming toddler.

She likes to tell me that it was the first time she ever realized that she could ignore the temper tantrum and pretend that it wasn't happening.

I love it when mommy knowledge gets passed around!

This friend of mine has taught me a thing or two about parenting as well. Including the fact that I should just give my toddlers fruit in a cup everyday and expect them to eat it and most of the time they will. Hand them a cup of blueberries and few toddlers will resist them. Should have done that with Firecracker.....

But the biggest thing she has taught me is something for myself. While I call my friend American she actually grew up during her young life in Belarus. We were talking one day about something and I ended my sentence with, "you know?" and she looked at me and said, "No, I don't know what that is."

My mouth just about dropped to the floor. Not because she didn't know what I was talking about. I don't remember what it was so obviously it wasn't important, but I was amazed at how, when she admitted to not knowing something she didn't dissolve into the floor boards. Or become dust nd get blown away into the air. Or just disappear.

In other words, nothing happened.

And that is when a light bulb lit up in my own head and I realized: I would benefit from not always pretending that I know everything.

Wow. It is such a dumb revelation, and yet I needed it. Ever since I can remember there has been something inside me that made me embarrassed ever to admit that people were talking about something I didn't know or understand. I guess I thought they would think me uncultured or stupid or something. This has put me into a predicament at times when I am then expected to contribute to the conversation and cannot. I remember a time I laughed at my Italien boyfriend's joke when I really only understood two words he said and was then asked to translate by someone who wasn't pretending she knew everything. Talk about embarrassing.

Why didn't I learn then? I have no idea. I do know that the first time I admitted out loud that I didn't understand something to someone who I have a lot of respect and admiration for it felt foreign for me to do so.

But I got better with time. And each time I do it I learn something. So, maybe by the time I die I can say that I know everything!

What about you? Learn anything from your friends lately?

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