“Those we love don’t go away, they sit beside us every day.”
― Liane Moriarty,
“Chick lit” is often considered frivolous and fluffy. I can see why (I’ve dedicated a whole post to mocking romantic comedy films…), but I’d hate for Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty to be mistaken for a superficial, cliché novel just because it is an easy read. Actually, once I find someone with a subscription, I’m looking forward to watching HBO’s take on the book. In case you’re not familiar with the book or show, Big Little Lies is about three mothers, who all have a child in the same kindergarten class, and a murder that takes place at their elementary school. There’s much I could say about this book, from its witty dialogue and amazing character development to its statements on motherhood and community.
However, today I’ll be focusing on one takeaway: the beauty of befriending someone either older or younger than you.
The three main characters, the mothers, develop an unlikely friendship despite having varying socioeconomic backgrounds and facing different crossroads in life. At 24, Jane is so young compared to the other moms at the school, someone even confuses her as a nanny (yeah, there’s some pretty rich parents at the school). Madeline and Celeste, both in their 40’s, befriend Jane. I loved how they fiercely defend her and constantly help her out in times of need. Their relationship reminded me of friendships and mentors I’ve had over the years, people who sought me out and poured into me despite my youth.
When I was in middle school, I decided to join my church choir. I have no idea why I decided to do this. I believe I have a gift when it comes to writing words but most definitely not when it comes to singing them. However, for whatever reason my choir director and his wife let me join, and perhaps more surprising, let me stay for 4 years. The choir was amazing. Just to give you an idea, I remember attending a concert and thinking, “This is what heaven will sound like.”
Let that sink in.
While I did learn a thing or two about music, please don’t ask me to sing at your wedding. If you’d like a witty toast, I’m booked through September. Anyways, joining choir was one of the best decisions I did as a whippersnapper. What I loved most about the choir and orchestra, even more than their heavenly tunes, was the diversity captured on that stage. People of all walks and stages of life singing together. Through choir, I learned how to befriend people different from me, especially those much older than myself.
When I moved to a college town, I discovered the value of this skill. I realized one day that most of my college friends solely interacted with other people their age. The only other group they had meaningful interactions with were professors. I felt lucky to have friends much older than myself. Not only were they better cooks, but they were wiser, had cars, and often reminded me that one test or essay wouldn’t define my whole life. As I stressed over schoolwork, they reminded me that life kept going. They gave me perspective.
And for that I’m thankful.