We want our children to have good friends. Friends that they can laugh with, cry with, enjoy time with, and feel good about themselves with. It is not about how many friends you have, but the quality and integrity of the friends you choose. You may not always get along, have the same opinion, or even the same interests, but there is a bond that develops making you want to spend your time together, to open your heart to this person, risking the pain that is inherent in any relationship; when you encounter the moment when you must decide if it is worth the emotional investment to persevere or if self-preservation dictates that you must walk away with your head held high.
Two weeks ago my little writing group comprised of five girls made the choice to become friends. I was witness to this very special moment that was so subtle and natural it was barely detectable. This group of girls, who gather together perhaps because they love to write, or perhaps because their mother made them, collectively flipped a switch which transformed them from just acquaintances who gather once a week to write, to friends.
It began with laughter. Usually our group is a bit quiet. They all have ideas and share those freely with one another but rarely did they open up about who they are as girls. Laughter changed this. Someone said something witty and thus began a conversation. As I sat and listened, I knew instinctively not to redirect them back to writing. This moment was about more than writing. This moment had the potential to be transformational. And it was.
Originally our group was to last 8 weeks. The last week would be this upcoming Friday. I enjoy this group. I love being in their company. Since they don’t want the group to end, especially since they are now friends, we have extended our weekly meetings indefinitely! They have coined themselves Notebook Girlz and they began a blog to share their writing. This blog in still in production, and the goal is to have at least one story published this week. Emails are flying fast and furiously among us, as stories are submitted for editing and revision. Editing guidelines are being created. Plans for a group photo are being discussed. Sparkly banners are being constructed. Blog nicknames are being imagined and "about the author" descriptions are being written. It is all very exciting.
Friendship is a gift. Sharing part of your soul with someone is an act that should never be taken lightly. My girls know this. They know that some friends come into your life for a reason, some just for a season and some, a select few, will stay with you and become part of you. The hardest part of growing up is realizing who those friends will be.