They bounced merrily down the hall, bumping into each other and giggling wildly. I watched, sharing in a little bit of their uninhibited happiness, as my pint-sized three year old looked at her two friends and laugh-spoke, “Hey! Wets hold hands!” Without a moment’s hesitation, the all grabbed hold of each other and continued to be bop their way down the hall. Suddenly, my girl turned around with a smile big as the sun and squealed, “Mommy, we wike to hold hands because we’re guhls!”
I was struck. She is right. We like to hold hands, to be near each other, to feel the touch of another, to know that we have a friend, to bump into each other from every which way even when it hurts – because we’re guhls.
I forgot how lonely the first year of a baby’s life can be for mommy. It’s hard to get out of the house and do the things that you normally would because you have to pack up your whole house to do it. You’re so tired that the idea of packing up your whole house and doing anything other than what is absolutely necessary to survive today is out of the question. You’re so lonely that you wish you could just get some sleep so you could have the energy to pack up the whole house and keep it clean and play with your kids and cook dinner the next day. You’re so cranky that you start to slip into the poor pitiful me t-shirt because there’s no one around to remind you that there are other people out there with life experiences just like yours – or life experiences much harder than yours – or to say, “Good job, Em. You’re doing great!”
Then one Wednesday you force yourself to do all five days of last weeks Bible study homework because you’re the leader and calling out two weeks in a row goes against every responsible bone in your body. You look into the faces of five other women, most of whom you don’t actually know very well, and listen to THEIR stories and share a little of your own. You tell the truth and laugh a little and don’t discipline anyone or get vomited on. You leave feeling about five hundred times better and it occurs to you, “I like to hold hands because I’m a guhl!”
Can I offer a piece of wisdom that I am learning? Always assume that everyone feels lonely. Take the initiative. BE. A. FRIEND. I can pretty much guarantee you that at least every other gal you come in contact with will eat it up – as though she’s been friendship starved or something. As though she is weary of being the friend and taking the initiative and may have possibly given up on it all together. Seriously, be the friend. Not just the kind that says, “We should get together soon,” but the kind that calls and says, “What are you doing tomorrow? Want to come over? I have PB and J’s and goldfish and you can come in your PJ’s…without make-up if you want.” If you’re the one being asked, get over all of your hang ups and fears, pack up the house, throw the kids in the car, and make brushing your teeth your only beauty goal of the morning. Set aside your pride for some hand holding time instead of whining about it.
If we could all embrace both sides of the friendship, we might just be able to find the giggly little girl within – and be bop our way down the increasingly narrow, up hill hall of life.
Love y’all like crazy!
Next up: When you would give up coffee to get up and go to work