“Do you want to play with me,” asks the three-year-old.
What happens next can be heartwarming or heartbreaking.
Sometimes there’s no reply, simply a look between two kids before they begin to play together.
Just as often, a child says, “No,” turns and walks away. At other times, a stare is issued then he walks away.
But that’s okay. Liam, my grandson, will keep trying for that right person to be his friend for the next thirty minutes before he has to go home. He usually succeeds. I admire his patience and tenacity.
Getting refused three times in a row makes me want to head home. But not Liam.
No, he’ll run his truck through the dirt again and again until another child comes by. Then, he’ll look up and ask for the 4th time, “Do you want to play with me?”
We learn how to make friends early and we keep them – for a while, many years or a lifetime.
What we don’t learn is how to make sense of friendships gone bad or how to end being friends.
Friendships are far more complex than we might think. But most of us make our friends without consulting a manual and no one queries our theory of friendship.
A friendship doesn’t have clear timelines and boundaries, no ceremonial beginning and end. Still, friends are interwoven into our lives and we enjoy them … until we don’t.
Faced with breaking up with a friend is where I am now. It feels bad and will likely hurt, a little or alot.
This is not a sappy post about loser feelings when friendships end.
Still, let’s insert some heart breakin’ lyrics before we enter the kingdom of friendship to unravel our expectations, responsibilities and why we might carry the torch too long for a friendship that is over.
Just try to read the chorus from Fire & Rain without singing it. Impossible.
I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain
I’ve seen sunny days that I thought would never end
I’ve seen lonely times when I could not find a friend
But I always thought that I’d see you again