My friend's mom passed away. I don't keep in touch with my friend much anymore, but since we were friends in middle school and high school, I had quite a bit of contact with her mom, who was fabulous. My heart aches for the family of Joan Ciliberti, who was a strong woman who did anything for her kin and who will sorely be missed.
I think of that role, the friend's mom, and what it means. Sometimes we're just the chauffeur, sometimes we're the annoying presence checking in - especially when it's too quiet, sometimes we're the audience when a play needs to be performed with just a cast of 2, sometimes we don't receive more than a few mumbled, awkward words before our child takes the friend off to the nether regions of the house.
Sometimes we get to be a bit more, because as important as our child is to us, so are these people our child has invited into their life. If your child has a best friend or a really close friend, you will get to know the friend as they frequent your house, and you will embrace them as an extended family member. They're important to your child, so they become important to you.
Here's a thank you to Mrs. Ciliberti, for putting up with my adolescent antics and making me feel at home every time I visited. I only hope I can give the kind of welcome to Soph's friends that she gave to me - the kind that said, "Leave your worries at the door. Those in this house accept you just as you are."