What makes a friendship? What makes a friend? I am talking about a true friend, not a friendly acquaintance that you may see or converse with on a few occasions. I am pondering this.
As a woman, I was first a daughter and a sister. I was the 3rd born with an older brother and sister. I was a cousin and granddaughter and great granddaughter. Learning to play and share with siblings and cousins. Learning obedience to my parents and those entrusted with caring for me. When did I start to learn to be a FRIEND. A friend is by choice mostly. Yes, siblings and cousins can be great friends, but when we are taken out of our growing up environment, do we remain friends? Do you call just to gab about the day or to check in on life?
By age 8 I had a few friends that I gravitated towards because I liked the way I felt when I was with them. Some friends were there because of close promixity and ease of playtime (across the street neighbours). I learned that words spoken in haste don't taste good. I learned that a quick "I'm sorry, that was mean. Will you forgive me and can we play again?" within 5 minutes was a good cure for that awful taste in my mouth. I learned that jealousy never makes for a fun play time. That Barbie car and house is lovely and all, but being jealous of it will make a fight in the end. When the Barbie toys are shared, it all works out fine. So we played with her Barbies and my dolls/clothes. We ate store bought cookies at her house, homemade at mine.
Around this same age I changed schools and became friends with some other girls, but also kept the neighbour friend. These friends "got me" and I really felt safe playing with them. One girl "R" played so gently and I don't remember us ever fighting. I was a few years older even but admired her family and all her younger siblings. Sucker for babes I was. We drew lots of pictures, we sat through church services quietly together and when my Father died, she was still there. Sometimes maybe a friend is "just there".
As I got older, we moved and I struggled to find a friend again. I struggled until I changed schools and found some fun fun fun friends in grade 10. I love these friends. We goofed. We played. We laughed. We cried. We fought quietly amongst ourselves. We wrote notes. We gave eachother the silent treatment, then made up. We were there and we still are. Whenever we get together it is like there was never a day inbetween. We would go to eachother in a minute. We may suggest things, but we never insist. We don't mother, we listen. We ask questions and then wait for an answer. We may ask MORE questions until the person we're talking to finds their own answer. We pray.
So today I am thinking on what makes a friend any different from anyone else. Maybe it's this. When you think of a friend that you would like to tell you got the job to ~ who do you see? When you just got some bad news ~ who do you want to tell? When you have free tickets to a fun event ~ what girlfriend do you want to come? When you feel like barfing and need someone to hold your hair ~ who would do it? Ha ha.
But seriously, who would do these things for you? Not because they would have to (a spouse or child perhaps would "have" to, though not in a negative sense) but because they are a FRIEND? Who knows your dirty laundry but loves you anyways???
Thinking this way, I do have a few friends. I know I would do this for them and hope they know it.
So what is friendship? How do you get it? How do you give it? How do you keep it?