I'm sitting in the Arden Theater with a tear in my eye watching A Year With Frog and Toad. I have a tear in my eye because Frog and Toad are all about friendship and it has me thinking, I'm lucky to have Jeff Bogle as a friend. Maybe you don't believe in fate or get squeamish when people say that everything happens for a reason but there is something in this universe that brought Jeff and I together.
Friends are usually the people you grew up with or they might be a roommate from college. Friends might have come from a job that you once had together or an experience you both shared. I found Jeff through a series of fortunate events. It began with the National At Home Dad Network and finding their annual convention which lead to me meeting Chris Routly and Matt Peregoy who I knew both had blogs. "You should join the Dad Blogger group on Facebook" they both said when I expressed interest in sharing my blog with the world.
I had just moved away from our house in upstate New York and had to start all over again making friends. My friends from college are scattered all over the place, my high school friends mostly still in Chicago, many of them I just don't talk to anymore because I just don't get to see them.
In the group, I searched the members and discovered that Jeff didn't live that far from me. So, I asked him to meet me at a bar/restaurant one day. Yep, I asked a dude out on a mandate. I quickly learned that he didn't drink and that he liked the Detroit Red Wings. I felt like the universe was trying to pull an Odd Couple scenario on me. How was I going to get along with this guy?
Without spoiling the show, I can say that friends can be so different but the same in many ways. Frog says to Toad at one point during the show "I'm happy when my friend is happy." That is what friends are for.
If like me, you grew up reading the books of Frog and Toad as a child, the underlying theme in all of the books is the basis of friendship. A Year With Frog and Toad is a celebration of what it means to be a true friend.
And just like Frog and Toad, we've been through a lot together. We've seen Montell Jordan together. Visited the White House. We've even survived rooming with Zach Rosenberg. As different as we are, we are still the same in many things. Great fathers, wonderful writers, champions of daughters, adoring husbands, world travelers, and talented photographers just to name a few.
Maybe it's the way that he writes that drew me to him in the first place. His blog posts are like stories from a close friend. If you follow his blog you'll begin to feel like you already know him. When I'm down I call Jeff just to talk. Sometimes I complain about something and he listens. Sometimes he cracks a joke and can make me laugh. I'd like to think that when I'm happy, so is he.
Go see A Year With Frog and Toad with your best friend and go for lunch after. See it by yourself and call them after to let them know just how much you appreciate them. Take your children so they can learn what it means to be a true friend. Take your whole family to the Arden Theater and see A Year With Frog and Toad before, like a snail, it slowly passes you by. Performances are going on now through January 29th, 2017.