My daughter recently asked me who my best friend was. I said “JoAnn, my sister.” She said “No, mom. That’s not what I mean. I mean friend, like who isn’t related to you.” so, I said ”Daddy”. I think this counts in her requirements, as I am not related to him, just joined in marriage until death do us part. She wasn’t accepting my answer as a viable option. But then, I suddenly felt lost, when I began to take her question seriously.
I have no friends.
Now, y’all, that’s just silly. I have friends, lots and lots of friends. I have friends that care about me, and I have friends that I care for in return. In fact I would jump into a burning building or run through brick walls to come to their aid. I have friends that I grew up with from back home with whom I will always be connected, even though they are 1,484 miles from here. I have Instagram friends that started out as Flickr friends who I keep in contact with on a daily (hourly?) basis, many of whom I have met over the years, face to face, from across the globe. I have neighbor friends who like to get together for dinners, movies, or ladies nights.
What I don’t have, is ‘a friend’. That one friend that you can call when you are sitting on the toilet and need them to bring you a roll of toilet paper from five miles away because you forgot to restock the closet, a friend that will grab your kid from school and keep them in a family emergency, a friend you can laugh with about wildly questionable topics, a friend who will hold your hand when they visit you in the hospital to tell you that you can do this (I am not headed to the hospital, just for clarification…knocking on wood), a friend that you can run to, to return all of these favors.
It just hit me like a rock to the head that I do not have this friend. And you know? It makes me wonder how many other moms there are, that are thinking the very same thing. How did I get here?
My youngest child is now 10 years old. Soon that child will be 18 and heading to college…very soon. In the blink of an eye. When she does, (and she will, so help me Elvis), I want not only to have a friend that I can rely on to be there for me during that transition; but I also want for me to be that friend for someone else. Someone who needs me in return.
Unfortunately, they don’t sell these friends on Etsy, or I would have a fat quarter pack of them sitting on my shelf with a margarita already. You can’t look for a friend. A good, real friend happens at the right time, in the right place, for the right reasons. Here is where I have slipped up. I have not put myself out there, to connect. I have stayed in my safe little hidey hole during these years at home.
I came to this realization suddenly during this time of social distancing, because I was the only one not going crazy. I am immune to cabin fever. I adapted to isolation. I thought I was content, that is, until my daughter asked me who my best friend is. Now I realize what a disservice I have been doing to these other people, who are waiting around for me too. It’s high time I pull my head out of the sand and just start being there for those that are waiting for just the right person, at just the right time, in just the right place.
My homework: Task number one. Introduce yourself to at least 10 homes/people on your street. If you already know them, choose 5, and leave a plant, or small gift, and a note letting them know that you thought of them today.