That feeling, anxious sweaty palms, as you look across a room for a familiar face. That moment of feeling lost before you find someone. Nervousness builds as you consider options, walk out or stay. And then, there they are, a friendly face, a wave, a smile. Your heartbeat slows and you walk confidently towards a friend.
Friendship takes many forms. It can be across continents, texts sent at midnight just to let someone know you’re thinking of them, it’s feeling comfortable in the same space without talking. It’s not feeling lonely when surrounded by people.
Friendship is a hard one for me. I have a difficult time creating those chemical bonds that seem to come so naturally to some. For me it comes down to feeling comfortable with people. That, to me, is the best indicator of friendship.
Recently, my kids were at a play space, one of those zip line and wall climbing ones. I watched from above as they swung and hung from all the different places. They giggled with glee. At one point, however, my daughter found herself hanging precariously, and with doubt on her face, shook her head that she wasn’t going to make it to the other side. I watched as she maneuvered until she found just the right spot for her foot and then crossed to the other side. She smiled her ok at me, confident again.
But that little bit of fear that had left her hanging was still there on her face and she needed a bit of comfort. I thought she would come running up to me but all of a sudden, from across the noisy play area, her brother called her name and she ran toward him. His familiar voice just the comfort she needed in that moment.
That’s what we all need sometimes. When we walk into crowded rooms, unknown places, new situations, had a bad day, fallen and have been left hanging a bit too long, we need a familiar voice that reaches across whatever divide we’re facing.
I’ve seen what a difference it can make, the smile, the running towards something comforting, the security, the renewed confidence.
I love that my kids have each other, have me and my husband, have grandparents and friends that make them feel this way. In a world full of uncertain places and as they grow older, uncertain feelings, I want them to know what that real, deep comforting friendship feels like so they don’t get swayed by the false stuff. The more people around them showing them the real deal, the more they won’t have to go looking for imitations.