Every friendship has a story to be told.
Quite often there is that one pinnacle moment where you look at the other person and realise, yes I like you. I’ll have you. When you know that this is your story that will be trotted out time and time again.
Whether that story is meeting for the first time, aged 11, on a netball court where you were explicitly told how so-and-so is your best friend despite the fact that the school put you in different classes.
Or the fact that you were delivering some home made baby food to someone you were talking to on the internet.
Maybe it was the fact that you read an article published about needing a friend and invited them over for tea.
It could be that you met in a soft play, then bumped into each other in the supermarket, yet couldn’t quite remember their name. Despite the fact they remember yours, and your child’s, and used it extensively.
Whatever the friendship there is a story behind it.
This is the story of the pants that got washed.
I’ve lamented many times on the importance of friends as an expat. They help you through the early days, keep you steady in the middle and it breaks your heart when they, or you, leave to the next adventure.
Last week I said goodbye to one of my best friends.
Not only that, but our kids were friends, our husbands were friends.
It made for unforgettable barbecues, countless play dates, and a brunch where I can’t quite remember what happened.
How our friendship story began
The day I met Jacs I was in the middle of a shopping mall. A little bit over awed by having just met a load of new people, dragging the two boys around with me and hissing under my breath for them to BEHAVE. As we headed from the soft play to the coffee shop we bumped into some more mums from the group that I had attached myself too.
Quietly pushing the pram, and desperately trying to work out what on earth I was going to feed my starving children, this mum bounds up to me.
I mean, quite literally, bounces.
You have two boys – this is great everyone else here has girls. Or y’know a boy and a girl. But yay! You have two boys.
And envelopes me in this great big hug.
I’ll admit I was a little shaken by this strange Kiwi girl, but the warmth of the hug and the genuine pleasure to meet me had me decided that I liked her.
Which was good because she’d already decided she was collecting me.
A plea on Facebook
I’ve found Facebook, as an expat, an endless source of knowledge. The amount of expat groups around to answer the question.
My question? Where on earth could I wash the never ending cycle of clothes that my boys produced without paying the extortionate hotel prices for my, then, 3 year olds tiny pants.
Seconds later. A friend request. An inbox message.
So I did.
But not one load. Nope. Probably about a gazillion loads.
When friendship is bonding over pants
And whilst those pants spun around in the machine the bonding began. Progression from small talk to big talk, parenting woes to woes in general.
The pants started the friendship but the subsequent chats, text messages and endless playdates sealed it.
Coffee, cake, boobs, running, baking, husbands, babies, schools, expat life. You name it I will have thrashed it out with Jacs.
From one small moment, to a lifetime of little moments, a friendship was born.
Everybody needs a Jacs in their life
Somebody to reach out to you when you don’t know what’s happening right now. To feed you coffee, cake but most importantly sympathy and a listening ear.
Someone who will take you into their heart as their own. To collect you, if you will.
Everybody needs to be a Jacs
To remember what it’s like to be new and in need of friends and offer out that lifesaving hand of friendship.
For us, our story started with pants.
For you? Go out and write your story. You never know what might happen.