I have a confession… I haven’t been a very good friend lately. In general. For quite awhile, actually.
I’ve had a long-time habit of uprooting myself away from friends on a regular basis.
After graduating high school, I moved a state away from my friends. After living in that state for awhile, I met a girl, got married, and moved across the country.
We’re back now, but I was gone for a couple years. I lost touch... Out of sight, out of mind.
Then we started a family. I dove in to my work. Got lost a few times. And, due to my introverted-leaning personality, just didn’t see nurturing friendships as an important focus.
This spiritual mentorship of parenthood is showing me how life-changing friendship is.
When we took Rory to her old preschool a year ago, she cried every day at drop-off. For two months. Heartbreaking.
Then, she found a friend. A little girl names Jaycyn. Soon, she and Rory were besties. When we’d drop Rory off at school, Jaycyn would run up and they’d embrace before running off to play, hand-in-hand. No more tears.
Now, Rory is starting at a new preschool. Away from Jaycyn. And it’s heart-shattering dropping her off in a place where no other kids even remember her name yet. She grips my neck and clings to me like a spider monkey as the teacher has to carefully rip her away, tears flowing out of her beautiful blue eyes, down her red cheeks and onto her Elsa dress.
Of course, she’s fine a few minutes later — and she’s always having fun when I pick her up.
But those drop-offs… Ugh…
I remember being the same way. I hated going to school. Hated it. Especially the early years. But then, I made friends. And as much as I still really didn’t like school, friends made it better. Way better.
Emerson and Thoreau. Montaigne and La Boétie. Lewis and Clark.
Good friends are spiritual fuel for a lonely world.
Yesterday, I picked up Rory and before she saw me, I noticed she was playing with a little boy. They were putting little characters in a small wooden boat. They were totally lost in each other’s presence.
I’m sure that little wooden boat wouldn’t have been nearly as cool without the companionship of a friend. And today, drop-off was a heck of a lot easier.
P.S. If you’ve been following my weekly Q&A on YouTube, I’ve just posted this week’s piece titled, Is it right to ‘sell’ mindfulness?. Check ‘er out below: