We were at a restaurant with friends, back when we didn’t sleep. Oliver drops his entire bowl of peas. I get up, yell "Oliver!" (and lots more) while staring at hundreds of peas on the floor. Just then, a friendly voice from behind me says "breathe". I take a breath, and start picking the peas one by one, with tears running down my cheeks. Oliver, my friend and her kids help me silently. She caresses my arm, "I know".
Years later I still remember it, the silent help, the absence of judgment, that gesture. It doesn't take much to be that mom friend. We can all choose to be that friend.