The Foundation of all Friendships


We were sitting outside Starbucks, my daughters and me, laughing over something I can’t remember. Seems like when we are all together there is always much laughter. That’s the gift of being the mother to daughters – they grow up to become some of your closest friends as well as your daughters. Well, they do if you are able to sidestep the landmines of resentment and disappointments, just like in any friendship.

“What are you laughing about?”

The dark-haired beauty, who had only moments before been with her mother at the table behind us, walked over to our table and inquired of us: Why were we laughing?

She was 4, she told us. She had waist-length dark hair that she kept pushing off her face. Her eyes were dark walnut. She wore a blue dress with a pattern of teensy striped Zebras running across it.  Prompting Shelby to relate the story of how Trevor Noah was confused by why Americans call them Zee-Bras instead of Ze-bras, like everyone else in the world. “You don’t call Debra Dee-bra?” Prompting yet another round of laughter.

The little girl sat down in the only empty seat left at our table, plopped her elbows up and said to Konnie: “Your glasses are pink like your shirt.”

“Pink is my favorite color,” Konnie responded.

“I like pink,” our new friend announced.

“We like the same thing!” Konnie exclaimed.

And there it was, in that brief moment, the basis of all friendships – whether mother and daughter, or 4-year old to 40-year old, or strangers across a crowded Starbucks – resonated.

C.S. Lewis summed it up this way: “Friendship arises out of mere Companionship when two or more of the companions discover that they have in common some insight or interest or even taste which the others do not share and which, till that moment, each believed to be his own unique treasure (or burden). The typical expression of opening Friendship would be something like, “What? You too? I thought I was the only one.” … It is when two such persons discover one another, when, whether with immense difficulties and semi-articulate fumblings or with what would seem to us amazing and elliptical speed, they share their vision – it is then that Friendship is born. And instantly they stand together in an immense solitude.”

That moment when we recognize a part of ourselves in each other.

I hope you have a friend, a daughter, a son, a lover, a neighbor, a cousin, a mother or a father, who makes you laugh.

Or I hope you are that person who causes others to stop and ask: “Why are you laughing?”




Karen Spears Zacharias

Author/Journalist/Educator. Gold Star Daughter.

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