By Ellen Foley Special To Channel 3000
My wise friend Zach Stalberg told me when my children were teenagers in Philadelphia that their rebellious antics would pass and in their 20s they would become adult friends.
We need a name for this stage of life. Infancy, childhood, puberty, adulthood, friendhood? Or perhaps we should lobby for a national holiday. Mother?s Day, Father?s Day? National Humble Enough to Take Advice from Your Children Day?
Whatever we call this stage in our parental development, it happened to me Sunday, June 12. I asked my daughter, Kait, 26, to have lunch with me and for the first time in our lives together. It was just for fun. I had no big message about job strategy, chore lists or advice about boys. I just wanted to spend some time with her.
About half way through lunch, Kait began delivering important insights into our shared life. We tend to collect friends who are a bit on the eccentric side.
?It?s because we?re highly educated, mom. We just like being around interesting people,? she said.
Why didn?t I think of that.
I did notice that most of our friends are quirky. I assumed this was some genetic predisposition. My father was the most eccentric person I?ve ever known. I had hoped this was a trait diluted as the genes mutated through the generations. That doesn?t explain the penchant of her father, who shares no DNA with me, for out-of-the-ordinary pals.
One of our female friends is having trouble with boundaries. Kait and I brainstormed about how to deal with the craziness that comes with splattered friendships.
?She just didn?t have a great Dad like I do,? Kait said succinctly. ?I?d just stay away from her until she figures it out.?
Remind me to tell my husband he?s doing a great job.
If I am no longer her mother having now been deemed a friend, what do I do with all those memories of those big baby blue eyes staring up from the stroller and her first clarinet concert that made me cry with joy?
Should she now start calling me Ellen rather than mom?
Should we meet for drinks Alchemy or breakfast at the Jet Room like my other friends?
Should we join a book club together?
This is uncharted territory in my family that subscribed to the adage: A son is a son until he finds a wife. But a daughter is a daughter for the rest of your life.
I need to have lunch again with Kait. I obviously need more advice.