If I lived alone I would spraypaint these words on the bedroom wall:
WRITE and BREATHE and KINDNESS.
CHILDREN and FRIENDS and TRUTH.
I so get friends. A week ago I had the genuine pleasure of calling a friend and unpacking some recent woes and she was there, arms open, ready to catch and eventually release. A few days ago I met another friend for coffee in between kid activities and had a second revealing and wonderful conversation that left me feeling good about how things are going in my world — despite the hard, hard things that so many around me are experiencing. Because despite the unwelcome surprises and misunderstandings and illnesses and scary politics and sorrows and memories and challenges that are everywhere and everyday, things are going to be ok.
Things are ok when I overhear my son explain to his friend that “sexy ladies” means “pretty ladies”, so it’s ok to say [thank you Gangnam Style].
And later, things are ok when he tells me at dinner that “I like this bite of steak a little, but it would be better if it was garlic bread.”
And things are ok as he explores his world from a five-going-on-six-year-old perspective, and that includes making new friends.
For as long as he been aware of the difference between girls and boys, my son has adamantly denied having or wanting any friends who are female. Our close friends have a daughter a few months older than him, and despite his occasional reluctance she is the only girl with whom he plays regularly… their relationship is cousin-like, almost sibling-ish as they spend long weekends together every few months.
At kindergarten pick up today, however, everything changed in a moment when he announced, Mama, you know what? I actually do have ONE girl friend. [not girlfriend, as in one word, but girl_pause_friend as in a friend who is a girl].
Really? I tried to act casual. What’s her name?
He smiled coyly. It is kind of like “Annabella”.
You know that sign language I learned for “I love you”? I’m going to use that sign language on her sometime.
Me: Are you? When?
Not today. Not yet.
Me: You’re just doing some planning then?
Yep. He smiled.
What do you think she’ll do when you use that sign language on her? I asked.
I don’t know. We’ll see!
We will indeed. I love five-year-olds.