“I had so much fun, Dad…playing with my best friend.”
“I’m happy babe…its so nice to see you make a new friend.”
This tidbit happened last night on our drive home from a game. But, then I remembered this last week.
“So how was your day baby? Have fun at school?”
“Yeah…played fun games at recess with my best friend.”
And this one about a month ago.
“Daddy, I haven’t seen Jonah in a long time…I miss him. He’s my best friend.”
“Soon baby…we have a few get-togethers coming up..and he will be there.”
When I think of a best friend, I think of a person I can always turn to about anything…a person who won’t judge me for who I am now…and who I was in the past…someone who understands what makes me tick…someone who is there to laugh with you…cry with you…and listen to your randomness.
I’m not a mathematician(took me 4 times to spell this correctly, in fact, the first time I tried to spell it, it auto-corrected to “math magician” which sounds way more cool) but doesn’t that make 3 best friends? One little girl she met two weeks ago…one girl she has been going to school with for three years…and a boy she has known since she was tiny.
And when someone says something or someone is the “best,” that means top of the heap…number one…numero uno…head honcho.
It made me look at how I judge my friendships. Who did I consider my best friend? An imaginary circle popped up in my head. That circle then broke into different circles….bigger ones….small ones…medium sized ones. And there were categories…and sub-categories. The internal discussion in my head was mad crazy.
“…definitely so-and-so. But…well, I have definitely known this other person longer…so it has to be so-and-so…no no…we didn’t talk for a long time…so I have to consider that gap…the gap is important…the other person was consistent with their friendship…but wait, what about so-and-so…they know EVERYTHING about me…but I have not known them as long as the others…the deepness of the conversation is important…so i have to judge it by length of friendship….how much they know the real me…and keep into account, any gaps of friendship or awkward fights.”
This was going to take forever. I literally thought about putting all of these friendships on an excel spreadsheet to figure this out…color-coordinate it by categories. But, that is a lot of work…and my life is pretty much based on doing the least amount of work possible. It made me realize, it is normal to have lots of best friends. But, what makes this possible…is the situation.
Work best friend:
The person you talk to the most at work. You gripe about the job together…complain together…laugh at people together.
This person deals with you every day. You wake up next to this person…they hear you when you snore….hear other embarrassing sounds…and know what you really look like in the morning…and know how you act before that first cup of coffee.
In and out friend:
Your lives are too busy for each other. But, when you do get to talk to or meet up with this friend, it is seamless. It’s like you spend every day together.
That friend who has that one thing in common with you:
We all have hobbies. And sometimes, no one in our circle of friends, likes that “one thing” you like. It could be a TV show that no one watches…a band that no one else likes…or your weird hobby that is embarrassing. But, for some weird reason, you find a friend who likes that thing too. And you turn to them to talk about it…and it lasts forever. But, you only have that one thing in common. Anything else you try to talk about becomes awkward silence.
That one friend who knows all your “dirt” and you have to be friends with them because you are scared they might tell people about your past:
We all have skeletons in our closets. And someone out there knows about them. You might not be close with them, but for some reason, you are scared that they might start talking about them so you remain civil just to make sure you are more friend…than enemy.
The “advice” friend:
This person says all the right things. Whenever you needed help, this person was there. And you value their outlook on situations. And this person gives it to you straight, even if it might hurt your feelings.
This could vary. Some of us don’t talk to our immediate family much. But, some of us have very close relationships with our family.
And there are more categories I am sure….but I looked back at my little one’s version of “best friend” and how it differs from mine.
My best friends are situational…and many. So I have several I could consider as “best” friends. Some fit in more than one category…some only fit in one of those before-mentioned categories.
My little one’s best friend status is based on the present. She treats whoever is with her as a “best friend.” She devotes all her time…her laughter…and kindness to that one person…gives her all to that person during her time with that person.
Adults don’t do that. We create friendships…and rank them…and those friendships change over time. We can’t help that. We make a friend and say to ourselves:
“This person is funny. That’s awesome. But, he/she hates Taylor Swift. Ain’t nobody got time for that…”
“This person loves sports. But when I e-mailed them that funny cat video, they replied ‘Eww…i hate cats. Cats can burn in a fire…and I would laugh. Now, that WOULD be a funny cat video.’ Yeah, this person is cruel…not best friend material.”
And we keep those internal discussions forever in a little pocket in our heads. And forever judge them. Imagine if we changed that way of thinking? If we looked at someone….spent time with them…and treated them like a best friend every single time. If we treated them as “best friends” in the present(just like kids do)…and not situational. You gave that person your ear to listen to….your shoulder to cry on…a joke to make them smile…and a little bit of “real” self to them. How fulfilling would our friendships be?
Yes, I know…my little one’s relationships/friendships will change…it’s inevitable. She will become older and her friend “categories” will begin. But, watching her and seeing how she sees friends now…affects me now. And what I do with that will change me and how I treat my friends.