On the drive to school the other day, my 10-year-old randomly said, "Mom, you and your friends are really cool."
"Me and my friends? Uh, thanks. We don't get called that a lot, I don't think."
"No. Really. You have, like, really good friends. Like you'll get dressed up all fancy for each other or just text each other during lunch to go sit somewhere wearing yoga pants and with your hair all...not fancy." We sit at a dive bar, drink Bloody Marys like they're going out of style, and play Prince on the jukebox from our iPhones for hours on those afternoons, but he doesn't know that. "And you're all like, 'Take nine kids out in public? Sure!' and no one even yells that much. Like how you'll all boss each other's kids but in a nice mom way. And I like how you're all mad about the election but you are looking for people to be nice to, like that's a funny and cool way to be mad. And how you say you don't like to talk on the phone but when you do, it's for like an hour. And you're all all loud and stuff, but in a fun way, not an annoying way. Most of the time. No offense, sometimes you guys are annoying but just because you're having maybe too much fun."
This is one of the nicest things anyone has ever said about me or my friends. And it's spot on, down to being annoying. We totally are.
"Wow. Yeah. We think we're super cool, so thanks for noticing. Really. I am lucky in the friend department and what you just said made me feel really good."
"But how did you make those kinds of friends? I want friends like that when I have kids but I think it would be good to start now."
"It's super tricky. And also not. Sometimes you meet people and you know they're meant to be your friend, and you have to stay in touch or tell them that you're friends now and you suck at staying in touch and hope they're cool with that. But mostly make sure the people you really like know that you really like them, because everyone likes to be liked. I could see you and your best friend coaching your kids' football teams some day, I think he's one of your soulmate friends."
"I don't know," he said pensively. "I don't think we'd have our kids play football. Maybe something safer like soccer."
"Yeah. That's how you know. That you already know that about each other."