My closest homeschooling friend is moving.
Four years ago we found each other, we lived only a block apart and had never crossed paths for the first two years that they had lived in their house. Our daughters were the same age, we both have an Andrew; mine the oldest son, hers the youngest son. We both sew. Our families are involved in dance and swimming. And we both homeschooled.
Over the years we found that we had more in common. We tend to cook from scratch. We like to garden. We both are strong in classical education and languages.
There have been some ways we are different. They decided to raise chickens and my husband said, “NO!”. She LOVES vintage items, I am more into antiques. We go to different churches in different areas of the town.
In the end, through the years, we have both helped each other clear out our stuff each summer and prioritize what we wanted to keep maintaining, cleaning, and storing. Having someone else that desires to have a clutter-free home and a strong, solid, and focused approach to homeschooling has been a blessing. We encourage each other to consider what the purpose of new curriculum would bring to our studies. We weigh the involvement of time preparing and teaching a curriculum. We look at how much storage the new project/program will take. Will the drive time be more than the actual instruction? Could we find the class closer to home? If the class is such high quality and worth the drive, what else can be done on that end of town? (Trader Joe’s!) And in the end, does it bring relationships closer or will this exhaust us mentally and emotionally?
This weekend they are moving to California to follow dad and his new job. Our first friendship gathering together was over ice-cream; we invited them the day we met to come over for ice-cream and enjoy getting to know each other. Last night we said our “formal” good-byes over one last ice-cream sundaes gathering.
Our kids have grown taller and our friendships have grown stronger. I know that a friendship like this can last through emails, phone calls, and visits . . . but it won’t be the same as the deep spontaneous conversations over a cup of tea while the kids collapse around a board game or a pile of legos.
One area in my life that I appreciate being a minimalist is having a manageable number of real quality friendships . . . however, I never will never declutter my address book, as relationships are what we are striving for and hold on close to.
Similar article by fellow blogger: Joshua Becker from Becoming Minimalist, The Pieces We Allow Into Our Lives