I so enjoyed Penny’s post that I thought I would add my thoughts on friendship.
Watching children make new friends, or not, fascinates me. After Christmas last year, the family had a holiday in Bright – a favourite spot for all of us. However, we were staying at a new place that didn’t have many children around.
Kid2 bonded instantly with the nearest victim, but then as a 9yo she embraced the simplicity of the situation. Anyone new around her is there as a means of amusement. Why would she question anything further than that? Kid2 could make friends with a rock – and has! [And brought the rock home with her – for a sleepover.] I love this – her view is so positive.
And then there was Kid1. On the brink of teendom, but in reality already in the throes of hormonl upheaval, the child’s easy view of the world has been replaced by the early signs of wariness that adults exhibit. Most teenagers do not greet strangers postively. Actually they rarely greet them full stop – unless they have to. They would greatly prefer the other party to make the first move; whereas a child has no issues with this. I will say there were few children/teens around her age, but she refused to play with the ones younger, and was too shy/wary to talk to others. This shift in her ease of making friends has really only appeared in the last 12mths – but it makes things a lot harder!
Adults are far more wary of friendship – the shyness and caution that Penny mentions is something I think we would all acknowledge in ourselves at times. It is also a very adult attribute to question the motives of friendship. I’ve recently had a falling out with someone I consider (considered?) a very close friend, of over 20 years. The incident was relatively silly. Another 2 shared friends were present, and their recollections match – similar incidents in the past have been laughed over, or glossed over – as the case may be. And the friendship has moved forward. This time, though, it has not. There has been no contact. I had made an initial approach that was not accepted – last minute excuses of another appointment. No word since then.
As a result, I have started questioned the ‘friendship’ I thought we shared. Was it all just one way? Had I thought we were closer than we were? Plus, I find myself casting the evil eye over myself to see whether I am worthy.
Children don’t do this. If they ‘break up’ with friends, there is sadness – but it is momentary. Children have the capability to shift with the need, find new friends, find new games to play. How I wish it was still that simple.