We moved a lot when I was little, and I moved some as an adult. Our parents always reminded my brother and I:
Make new friends, but keep the old
One is silver and the other gold.
I did not appreciate the adventure of moving from school to school. Just like as an adult before the Zoloft, it was very difficult for me to make friends. I would want to, but I’d never know what really to say. I’d sit on the side of the four square court and I would wait for someone to ask me to play. (My daughter would never wait for that, she’d run right in and make a splash and not care if she was terrible at four square or even knew how to play four square. Of all the issues I am probably passing on, that is not one of them.) Sometimes someone would ask me, sometimes they wouldn’t. I see myself back then and I want to push the little girl – “Just get in line!” I didn’t have the tools to do that, and it has taken me 33 years to develop them.
I mention this because of a facebook post I made yesterday. I had a friend in elementary school who really was my best friend. (I don’t think I mentioned her in my laundry list from the other day.) We were in the same class and had almost the same denim jackets. We had fun together, and I even got to go to Disneyland with her family. We worked on school projects together, we sang in the choir together. Our teacher didn’t like either one of us very much, so we had that in common, too.
In the last days of the sixth grade she got a very bad flu. We were scheduled to have a graduation party together, but she couldn’t even come, that is how sick she was. She lost a ton of weight. She seemed to like that, and she kept it off. My mother suggested bulimia was what allowed her to keep it off, but I don’t know.
My friend went to different middle schools and saw each other a little. We went to the same high school and when I enthusiastically greeted her, she waved a small wave. She obviously was not interested in re-kindling or relationship. I was sad. What’s more is that it made me feel ugly inside. I didn’t just let it go, recognizing that she probably just wanted to be more popular than I would ever be, or that I’d ever want to be; I felt like there was something intrinsically wrong with me. I don’t know what there was about the whole debacle that just ruined me inside, but it did. She did.
Fast forward to the modern era. She finds me on Facebook. She sends me a friend request. It takes two weeks for me to respond to her request. I sketched out the situation to B and he said that everyone needs more friends, and that I should say yes. I finally decided that Jesus would warmly welcome her, so I didn’t. Warmly, that is. I clicked “add”. We were officially friends again.
Of course Facebook friendships don’t mean anything. She left me a birthday message ending with, “How are you?” I didn’t respond to that. I felt like she did not earn the courtesy of a reply. After all those years, I still felt something, and it didn’t feel good.
Yesterday her face popped up on the screen and I clicked on her page. She just had her second baby and her page is filled with anti-cry-it-out, pro-co-sleeping articles and links. (And pictures of her son.) I posted a paragraph about loving her links and telling her how we never regretted co-sleeping, nursing, etc. I hope that I encouraged her. Even moms bold in their decisions need that sometimes.
Instead of some sort of resolution, all of that has made me sad. We were friends, and now we’re not. That’s a fact of life – people drift off, but is not what happened. The thing that hurts is seeing the similarities in our hearts for our children. We believe so much of the same things. It makes me wonder what good friends we would have been if she didn’t decide she didn’t want me anymore. It has been difficult for me to find a lot of attachment parenting type families. I think the mama and I would have a lot to talk about.
I don’t want to reach out to her. I’ve had my hand slapped too many times. I doubt I would want to get together with her anyway. It’s not out of hate or bitterness, I just think the whole situation would make me jumpy. Who needs to be knocked off kilter like that? I do not want a well-meaning reader to figure out who I am talking about and tell her she should give me a call.
I wish her well and I also wish the same for her children and family. It is just too late.