Five Steps to Sane Parenting

First of all, stop reading this RIGHT NOW in a blog reader (if you are) and go TO my blog.  Thank you.

One of the things that I love about me (I'm doing my own challenge) is that I am really great at making and keeping friends.  Like lifelong friends.  In fact, two of my friends on Facebook are friends I had when I was four years old in Tempe, Arizona.  True story.  If you don't believe me, I can give you a list of friends to ask about this.

In fact, I think I will do that.  Introducing Jay, Jon, and Ben.

I have always had a best guy friend.  For every phase of my life.  I am still friends with all of them.  So this post will be a tribute to them.  Which, believe it or not, has a lot to do with my Five Steps to Sane Parenting.  Which, you should sign up for.  

Go ahead, I'll wait.  It's just to the right there.  A little box with a little house. 

Okay, thanks. 

We'll start with my best high school guy friend because Junior High is just weird.  I met my best high school guy friend my Sophomore year.  I was walking down the sidewalk to the Science Building and there he was.  Black pants, white turtleneck, black sweater, black penny loafers (come on - it was 1987) and looking like a cross between James Dean and River Phoenix.  So I did what any normal girl would do - scoured my yearbook to see who he was and then set out to meet him.  

Turns out he worked at the local movie theater and a friend knew him so we went one night and I met him and drooled for a few weeks and then we became like brother and sister for the next few years.  His name is Jay.  We are still friends.  At school, no one really knew how close we were.  Our friendship largely resided outside of school.  We didn't hang out in the same group, and while my friends knew his friends, they didn't hang out with each other.  Like, ever. 

So, Jay and I talked every evening on the phone about our day and I discussed everyone I dated with him and he discussed everyone he dated with me.  We went to movies all of the time and he was over at my house all of the time and one time my mom had to go out of town on business and she suggested that we have Jay come and stay with me so I wouldn't be by myself.  I know - that's totally weird.  But, that was our friendship.  He called my mom, "Mom".  He might not actually know her name.  

Then my Senior Year (he was a year older) he called me and said, "Are you going to Prom?"  I said no and he said, "I think you should go with someone who is your best friend."  So, we went to Prom and had the best time ever because there was no pressure.  I think he was even dating his now wife by then (thanks, Chane'que!).  He had long surfer blond hair and I remember thinking how much fun it would be to show my daughter someday.  And I have, but she doesn't quite get it, yet.

So, that's Jay.  And here's the point - we are very very different.  He is still hanging out daily with the same group of friends from high school (they are very cool people - I don't blame him).  But, when I go to Phoenix I call him or Facebook him and say, "Dinner on Thursday."  And he shows up because that is what you do 25 years later when you were friends like that.  

P.S.  I talk to Chane'que on Facebook more often than I talk to Jay.

And now we move onto college.  This is a lot longer than I thought, but I have had that flu, and apparently that made me chatty.

I didn't meet Jon until my last semester of college so I went through most of college without a guy best friend which explains why I was so weird before I met him.  This doesn't excuse the fact that I was more weird after getting to know him.

I met him one night after a ward activity or something and no kidding - the dude doesn't talk.  To this day he is just not a talkative person.  I went to visit his wife, Adrianne, and him for Thanksgiving once several years ago and I remember saying, "How did we ever become friends?  You don't TALK!"  After a few moments of silence he said, "We spent a LOT of time together."  So, there's that. 

(I should mention that recently my husband and I went to dinner with Jon and Adrianne and Jon talked quite a bit after 3-4 hours of sitting there.  Sometimes you just have to get him warmed up.)

Anyway, at some point I finally said to him, "I am going to figure you out."  (This is going back to when we met)

He said, "How long until you graduate?"

I said, "December."

He said, "It will take you a lot longer than that."

CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.

That was 17 years ago and the challenge is still on.  Anyway, so Jon was right - we did spend a great deal of time together.  We lived across the cement from each other (what was that - a courtyard?  I dunno) in the same apartment complex.  And, we were in college, which means a lot of hanging out.  AND, I put in the effort.  I mean, I can honestly say, and Jon is nodding right now, that he is a difficult person to get to know and most people probably don't put in the effort, but if they DO put in the effort, he is one of the most brilliant and interesting people out there.  He's also really funny.  And loyal to his friends if you are lucky enough to be one.  If you are lucky enough to be one then you are his friend, forever

Again - very different from me.  A true introvert mixed with me, a put it all out there devil may care extrovert.  Why are we friends?  And for the love - what does this have to do with parenting?

Have you signed up, yet?

A few years went by and around Fall of 1999 I became friends with Ben.  When I first met Ben I thought, "He is weird."  Which should have been like a magnet for me given my history, however, we didn't really become friends until a year later when he asked me if I was going to one of the dances and then said we should hang out or something afterward.  It actually freaked me out because I thought he was so weird, but then at the dance he turned out to be relatively normal (it was an isolated event) and then we became friends.

Now, Ben is weird in that he is oddly like me.  In fact, we are so alike in our thought processes that some of our conversations are annoyingly analytical where we try to prove the same point to each other over and over again.  This usually involves arguing a lot as we come to the same conclusion as when we started.  It's very productive. 

As I got to know Ben, he felt like family to me.  And now, he is just my brother.  Except I am a lot shorter and we have different moms and all that.  We still have really long conversations where we analyze the world and someday we will have it all figured out.  But, the best thing that Ben ever said to me was the sentence right after I said, "I'm getting married."  

Okay, maybe it wasn't the sentence right after, but it was during that conversation.  The first sentence was, "Come over for lunch and show me the ring."  Then he said, "I guess all that is left is for me to become friends with him so that we can stay friends."  Or something like that.  And, he did. 

Again - for the LOVE - what does this have to do with Sane Parenting?

I guess you will just have to sign up and find out.