Columns by Pamela Majteles
Originally published October 29, 2010
Reprinted with permission from Bay Area News Group – East Bay
If I were stranded on a desert island, and I could take only one thing, I know exactly what I’d bring.
It would be one of my friends. Not one particular friend, any of them. Whoever it was, she’d undoubtedly bring a bottle of sunscreen and extra water to share. Then she’d figure out how else to help.
If it were my friend Roxane, she’d probably bring along her extra deep Igloo ice chest. (It could come in handy for keeping things cold on a desert island.) Roxane has brought it before to keep my pasta salad cold for my daughter’s volleyball team at all-day tournaments.
Of course, if I were stranded on an island, my kids would be there too, because you never find yourself alone if you’re a mother. But it wouldn’t feel like I was in over my head, because this friend of mine would always be ready to lend a hand.
For instance, if Betty was there, and one of my kids needed to be somewhere (maybe the other side of the island), but I had to stay with the other kids, she’d offer to drive. Not only would Betty drive my daughter, as she does all the time, she would also treat her to dinner on the way home.
If I needed something that I didn’t have on hand, I could count on this friend of mine to come through with it. Chafing dish, kid’s ski clothes, latest parenting book, recipe for brisket. (Who knows what I might need on the island.) If she didn’t have it, she’d find someone who did.
If it were my friend Justine, she’d take it a step further. I wouldn’t even have to say what I needed, because she would just know, like when my son broke his foot and she brought over rolls and rolls of sticky plastic wrap to keep his cast dry in the bath.
Being stuck on a desert island wouldn’t deter me from looking for advice and recommendations on everything. Family travel tips for overseas? Chiropractor for a teenager? Hairdresser who cuts a great bob? Martial arts instructor? Hebrew tutor? Piano teacher? Andrea, Cathy, Elena, and Sheila – if any of these friends were along, they’d go out of their way to share everything they knew.
On that island, I’m sure there’d come a day when I was feeling a little under the weather, but life and its duties would still go on. If I had a friend along, I know I’d get through it just fine. If it were my friend Maria, she’d offer to bring over soup, as she has done before.
Some days, when I’ve got my head down, juggling all of life’s duties, it can feel as if I’m alone on an island. But then I hear from one of my friends, and I know I’m not alone anymore.
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