The Circles of Friends
Y'all, I've got a confession. We are in the middle of a LOT of changes over here! We are about to close on a beautiful house in the country on acreage which has been a dream of ours, while also starting our oldest in kindergarten at a new school near the new house. We are excited for him to have that stability within this change and have (mostly graciously) added two and a half hours of driving each day so he could start with his classmates. We've spent time intimate time with each red light and construction zone between our current house and the new school, some of us belting out kids songs in the back seat while one of us utters all kinds of things under her breath praying we make it to school on time. It's only temporary, and I have to continuously remind myself of that.
Which brings me to one of the conversations from my son's first day at school. It was a bit rough and he was pretty nervous about a new school. He told me about how he was scared when we walked into school, how he wanted to leave, and how when they read a book in their class, he "felt the water in his eyes." (Oh sweet baby, mama is BAWLING inside!) Yet he shared that he was proud that he had done something he was scared of. (Cue more tears).
When I asked him who he played with, he told me about a kid I'll call Steve who he ran around the "super cool" playground with. I asked him what he liked about Steve. He told me he didn't know yet, and that he wasn't sure that Steve was going to be his real friend. We talked about how some friends are people you know, get together with, and enjoy having fun with. And that there is another level of friendship that goes deeper, those people who help you be the best version of yourself, make you feel good about who you are and what you believe in, and are some of your closest friends in your innermost circle. He nodded his head in a way that told me the wheels were spinning inside.
Let's talk about some wisdom beyond his years! To experience and question what a real friend is, and to not feel like he had to commit to anything beyond a cool playground buddy. How many of us have found ourselves with friends-by-circumstances rather than something deeper? Those friends we ran around the playground (middle school, high school, campus, sports sidelines, school drop off, etc) with, and maybe tried to go deeper with only to find that it really wasn't the right fit. I recall those friends at various phases of life, and how now, those relationships seemed so clearly not the right fit in retrospect, but at the time, they seemed like good investments of my energy and heart.
Do you remember that moment when you realized that you had the power to choose who you included into your inner circle? What did it feel like? How did you know which people would bring out your best? What did you learn along the way?
This week, I challenge you to tell those people in your inner circle how much you value them. Send a text (or Snapchat? Is that still hip with the kids?), give them a call, or write them a note. Let them know what it is about them that helps you bring out your best. It's these relationships that help us live into what's possible.