“Mom, will I ever have a friend at school?”
She had asked me the question before, but each time was like a kick in the gut. No answer would suffice. No response would make everything better. This girl of mine left several close friends behind in Virginia; girls she has known most of her life. This girl has a big heart for a ten year-old. When she is accepted, she holds on and never lets go. She is the most devoted friend, when she has the chance. When she is rejected, she feels it deeply, to the bottom of her core.
I haven’t shared how this move has affected the children. The “littles”, our five and three year old, just roll with it. Kindergartners aren’t very selective about their friendships, they all seem to love each other without hesitation. My three year-old daughter has two little girlfriends from our Tuesday morning Moving On group. They love all things princess and babies. Their mamas love to visit with one another. Perfectly matched.
When we moved , forming friendships has been more challenging than I imagined. You meet some really great people, but many have lived here their whole lives and have long-established friendships. Its as if you need a sign around your neck that says, “Hi! I’m new here and I really need a friend. Will you make room in your life for me?” It may seem simple, but it is a lot to ask.
Last night, after living here for 3 1/2 months, my ten year-old had a friend over and my 12 year-old was out with her youth group from church. They both had time with friends. When you move and have no one for 3 1/2 months, it is such a precious gift for your daughters to have someone. Someone to laugh with, be silly with, and sing “Frozen” songs with (a complete production with costume changes requiring me as an audience…sacrifices people). Both friends moved here the same time we did. They are in the same place, just asking for anyone to make room in their world for a new friendship.
My girls and I have talked about going through tough times means God is growing your character. This tough time is creating a sensitivity in them to reach out to the friendless. Although I feel like I have always encouraged my kids to reach out to those who are alone, now they “get” it. They are the friend-less and they understand how it feels to have someone notice them in their alone-ness.
Perhaps our character building moments will be our greatest blessing here in the bayou.