During a very brief period in my childhood, I was privileged to become a member of the Girl Scouts. I began in Brownies and transitioned up to full blown Girls Scouts. Though I have a few pictures of some of the activities we did, including the one pictured below that looks like marshmallow roasting, my memories of the specifics are a bit blurred. I have a vague recollection of the uniforms and the requisite sashes on which each girl could proudly display the badges she'd earned. Unfortunately, my brief foray into this exciting world was cut short by my parent's divorce.
However, one thing I remember with crystal clarity is a song we learned about friendships (which was sung around like "Row, row, row your boat"):
Make new friends
But keep the old
One is silver
And the other gold
I think of this song often these days as I treasure my golden friends -- many who are older, yet wiser women of faith -- and my newer silver friends that I've met through our local MOPS group, generally younger women of faith who are in the life stage of mothering preschoolers.
When I first found out I was expecting our daughter, my golden friends were my cheerleaders through what was often a difficult pregnancy. They nurtured me and loved my child before they even knew her. WOW!!
Once I became a mom, I gravitated towards finding other women in this life stage of early parenting. I incorrectly assumed that my golden friends, who are mostly grandparents and great-grandparents, wouldn't remember or understand what I was going through. I truly did them a disservice in that assumption. Motherhood is a univeral language and experience for all who have gone through it, no matter what calendar year it was and how things have changed.
So, I enthusiastically embraced MOPS and made several terrifically shiny silver friends, many of whom have more than one child already and had lots of wit and wisdom of their recent experiences to share. I am so grateful to be going through this stage of my life with such talented and insightful young women.
Finally now the pendulum of these relationships has found its center again --- I'm reconnecting with my golden friends while maintaining connections with the silver ones. I have been blessed with the best of both worlds.
My advice is to do the same by making connections in both worlds. Don't assume falsely that the "older" generation of women in your church, workplace, or neighborhood have nothing to offer you as a mom. They have time, experience and wisdom. They too will benefit from your energy, enthusiasm and spirit.