“People enter our lives for a reason, a season, or a lifetime”
An open letter to my son about friendship:
As I write this, you’re a little over 2 years old, and friendship comes really easily for you. I watch you and all of your friends and how easily you all say ‘I love you’ to each other. You tell waitresses and cashiers. You tell kids you just met – even if they’re older than you and want you to go away (this breaks my heart and makes me want to shake them, but I don’t – obviously). You tell animals and trees and your stuffed animals. You are so open and give your love so freely. You are honest – to a fault – if you don’t want to see someone (your mother and me included) you say “All done (mommy/daddy/whoever)!” At your age, it’s really easy to be friends with anyone – the requirements are actually really low (play with each other and share toys – if only it stayed this simple forever…)
I’m not really sure when it is, exactly, that we lose this openness and honesty – maybe sometime in elementary school? Either way, it’s kind of sad to me that this is the way we are and that we lose that part of us that loves fearlessly (most of us do, anyway).
Anyway, I wanted to talk to you about what true friendship is. Over the course of your life, you’re going to have many friendships. Some will be short-lived, and some will be completely superficial, while others will last until long after your mom and me are gone – these will be your chosen family. So how can you tell the difference between a true friend and someone who, well, isn’t? It’s not always easy, but one thing I can tell you for certain: actions speak louder than words.
I’ve had lots of friends in my life and there are only a select few that I consider my close friends – the ones I can truly count on and rely on. The ones who know me – all of me, for better or worse – and love me just the same. The ones who have never tried to change me, but accepted me for who I am.
A true friend will celebrate your victories and help pick you up in your defeats. They will bring out the best in you. A true friend is someone who will listen while you share your heart and then share theirs right back. True friends are precious and should never be taken for granted. A true friend will pick you up from the airport, help you move, be your wing man (or wing woman) – and will ask for nothing in return. A true friend won’t give up on you, and it’s important for you not to give up on them.
If you have even just one true friend, you are wealthy in one of the most important ways.
The rest is just fluff.