earlier this week my son asked me, "mom, how do you know if someone is your friend?"
"i don't know. i've wondered the very same thing," i honestly answered.
over the next few days, i discovered a few answers.
a friend is someone who asks you how you're doing and actually wants to know. if you happen to break down in tears they say, "i've got you. let go of your gravity and i'll hold you up as long as you need." so you let go, and they don't let you fall.
a friend is someone who asks, "what's going on?", not to pry, but because they really want to know. so you tell them, and they don't think you're whining or complaining. they listen and nod and maybe their eyes well up with a few tears. they shift the contents of their heart around to make room for you and your story, and you know that part of you is now safe in their warm chamber. your story does not linger on the tip of their tongue to be passed onto others who also don't know how you know if someone is your friend.
a friend is someone in front of whom you can lift up your shirt and show them your vulnerable spot, and instead of laughing and pointing or recoiling in disgust, they say, "i like you even more than i did before."
a friend is someone who can tell you something true about yourself, particularly something you wish was not true, something you don't want to believe but need to know so that you too can be honest, with them and with yourself. owning this truth will in turn make you a better friend.
of course my daughter knew all this already, for she answered her brother's question like this:
"duh. you just talk to them."
Posted by Molly at 11:04 AM