When I was growing up my mother always taught me and my twin brother to be friends with everyone and not just stay in our little clique. That being said, I was blessed growing up with some very, very close friends. Some I was stuck to. With the thickest friend glue you could find. I learned things, deep, powerful, things from them. Though there was still something to be said about spreading. There were a couple of times as a pre-teen and teenage girl when, wouldn't you know it, the other girls... or just plain me... were catty. It helped greatly that I didn't have just one group of friends as I navigated the choppy waters of being a teenage girl.
Now that I'm on the mother side of things and I'm trying to teach my daughter some of the same lessons I learned from my mother I realize there is one slight problem. I don't know what to tell her.
My daughter's best little friend is a boy. Which is a whole other post. Or twelve. This past Sunday it was Kaiya and her bff and another pair of bffs and then one little odd man out. I was rooting for him. I tend to root for the underdog. I kept encouraging the four to play with others and kept encouraging the one to play with anyone and it seemed we were all just running around in circles. It occurred to me though, as the one happily played with the other adult helper and the two pairs of friends happily played with each other, that there is nothing wrong with have a best friend. In fact. It's great.
There are some days I only want to talk to mine. In fact, if mine were to magically move back from that dreaded place called California, I would be hard pressed to play with others for a while. She'd have to call the police because I would stalk her. Of course that's just the thing though. She moved. I had to learn to let go a little because thousands of miles tend to make stalking a wee bit difficult.
It's not that I mind Kaiya having a best friend. In fact, he's great for her and she's learning oodles about being a friend with him. What bugs me is that she misses out on learning from the other kids as well. And friends move.
Somehow I have to figure out how to show her that loving a friend well is entirely possible while also getting to know others, new people, for a change. This past Sunday the answer seemed to be to just add another kid to the mix. A late arrival came and the scales were magically tipped or something because then all six were playing happily together. All eight I should say. At one point I was giggling wildly and jumping on the trampoline while the other "adult" was happily throwing the ball to herself.
The pairs of bffs still gravitated towards each other but they seemed to let their orbit span a bit wider as we ran in wild circles. Towards each other and away from each other. Everything is better with a friend running beside you.