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This post is in partnership with Friendship Dairies. Please note that, as always, any personal opinions reflected in this post are my own.
I’d like to tell you a story about the power of friendship. The photo above is of my youngest son and his best friend D. They have what I can only describe as one of the greatest bromances that ever was. I love watching them together. No matter where they are you can count on them having a great time. They see each other almost every weekday as they go to school together. On the weekend they bowl together. Any time they are not at one of those places, there’s an excellent chance that you’ll find them on the phone together, either talking, facetiming or texting. Their conversations make my heart smile.
My youngest is 18 and he just got his cell phone over the summer for his birthday. He’s on the phone so often with his friend that his phone is almost never fully charged. I can’t imagine him not being able to talk to his friend. It brings him such joy. Yet truthfully, I resisted getting him a phone for a while, and wasn’t sure I wanted to for his birthday. In fact, if not for the power of friendship, he still might not have that phone.
The friendship of which I speak is my friendship with D’s mom, an amazing woman named Karen. As you may have guessed from the photo above, she can be a really fun person to be around. Being a fun person is just a fraction of why I am so glad she is my friend. Karen is super easy to talk to. She is open-minded and never judgmental. There have been a couple of occasions where I had thigs bothering me to the point I felt I couldn’t talk to anyone about them, for fear they couldn’t relate or that they’d judge. She proved me wrong. She offers me constructive criticism, never in a mean or hurtful way. And she will call me out and tell me when I could do something better.
One example of this, and the biggest example there is, is the story of how my youngest son got his own cell phone. As my youngest has Down syndrome, his communication is delayed. His speech is often hard to understand for many, unless you know him well. D has had a cell phone for a good two years or so now. Once, before my son got his own phone, D called me to tell me my son was upset. The care, concern and compassion that he had for my son touched my heart. After receiving that call I mentioned to Karen how impressed I was with D’s phone skills. She told me that after getting D a cell phone of his own, his verbal communication improved. She urged me to consider getting my son a phone as well. I entertained the idea for about 5 minutes and then was done with it until almost a year later.
When I started contemplating what to give my son for his birthday, the idea of a cell phone came back up during conversation with Karen. I was super skeptical. I was beyond skeptical, I was sure it would be a waste of money. I went round and around in my own head for a couple of weeks. Then after another conversation on the topic with Karen, I decided to give it a shot. On his eighteenth birthday my son got his own phone. We started off slowly, with me being the only contact in his phone. I kept it that way for about two weeks. Then I added my older son and my husband. Then I added D.
In the beginning conversations between the two were quite limited. Then I watched as my son really tried to use words more. He would listen to D and try and repeat things. D would ask questions and my son would try and answer. The use the phone and they Facetime. Watching the two of them together absolutely makes my heart smile. They are on the phone all of the time. My son’s verbal skills are slowly improving. His joy at having a phone to talk to his friend tops it all. Had I not listened to Karen’s suggestion about getting the phone I wouldn’t get to experience my son’s joy every day. I was reluctant to get the phone for my son at first, but through the power of friendship I finally overcame my reluctance and went ahead. It’s been one of the best things ever for him and I am grateful.
About Friendship Dairies
Friendship Dairies® www.friendshipdairies.com has been making high-quality cottage cheese, sour cream, farmer cheese and buttermilk for the last 100 years. As a product, they have integrity. As a brand, they hold together, stay true to who they are, and encourage others to do the same. They’re purveyors of friendship and believe that friends open each other up to new experiences. They turn their loyalists into advocates, and their easy, crowd-pleasing recipes prove just how surprisingly fun sharing friendship can be.
Check out this “Power of Friendship” video, highlighting the lengths friends will go to in order to help someone they hold dear.
You can learn more about Friendship Dairies on the Friendship website. You can also connect with Friendship Dairies on social media.