Parenting ~ It only gets harder (You thought the toddler years were hard?!)


Ah, the good old days.  I remember them well… Kiki had a friend – a Best Friend – and life was good.  They generally looked even happier than these two girls! (maybe these gals don’t like their pic taken?)  If there was a problem in Kiki’s life, I could most likely fix it… with a needle and thread, glue, a band-aid, or a hug.  Easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy.

Shift to current day teenage life.  There are suddenly so many problems I can’t fix – even with SuperGlue.  Problem of the week?  Friendships.  Kiki is a tender-hearted and kind soul who gives her heart easily and fully to a friend.  She prefers one “Bestie” rather than a group of friends.  Not that she doesn’t have a bunch of friends… in fact, my biggest problem this week of Spring Break is trying to co-ordinate all the picking-up and dropping-off of various friends who were clamoring to spend some time with my daughter this week.   So, what’s the big deal? 

Her “best” friend. They’ve been friends for, I don’t remember, about 4 years.  Last year, she was the friend Kiki missed most when we moved to Virginia.  She was the friend Kiki was aching to get back home to.  And the month we came back, her family moved away.  Life sucks sometimes, I know.  I just hate it when it sucks for my kid.  So we are on the 2nd year of them being apart, and being with other kids.  I knew at the outset that they probably wouldn’t remain best friends… long distance relationships just never work that well, do they?  Of course my kiddo didn’t know that… nor would she have believed it if I’d told her. This week the friend is in town visiting for Spring Break.  She has spent more time with her friend she purportedly “doesn’t like” and who her mom said was a “bad influence”; now, that makes no sense to me, but what do I know??

 The worst of it was when the “best” friend, Kiki, and one other girl were talking about a “fun” outing, and what they’d do… then the other two girls did that thing, and left my daughter out of it.  These other two even bought “best friend” necklaces…. wow.  Kinda crappy in my opinion. Now, when Kiki gently confronted her friend about it… well, she lied.  The friend said the other girl suggested  it, and she had no idea that my daughter had talked about this plan. Well.  Really?  Because I happen to remember when the idea first came up, and they were all there!  Ah, well, Kiki chose to believe her; says she doesn’t really remember when the whole idea first came up – and, that’s good.  I’m glad for her “selective” memory.  I am also glad that she is the kind of girl who spends time thinking about – well, things – and she realizes that she will just have to have fun with this friend as it comes, but no longer call her “BFF” and that honestly, it’s fine, because they have changed over the years, and just aren’t as much alike as they once were.  Which is pretty mature thinking on her part, I believe.  But you can’t tell me it doesn’t hurt.  She’s already had her kindergarten best friend move out of state, and her 1st grade best friend move to a different school…. and, therefore, different friends.  That’s life, but it’s not fun.

I can’t say I am really upset about the loss of this particular friend.  After all, if she’s the kind of person who will treat a friend that way, who needs her?  Besides, there have been other behaviors that I have found rather questionable, so I will be fine with Kiki moving on.  But.  It made me feel really bad for her.  I’ve had friends “move on” and it never feels very nice. 

I hope she deals with it well.  I hope, unlike me, she keeps on putting herself out there, making new friends, being vulnerable.  Because I sort of gave that up after too many painful “friend break-ups” and the result is that I haven’t really got any close friends.  I hope she will have a lifetime of dear, sweet friends!

2 responses »

  1. Yeah, that happens a lot but in this day and age of email and facebook, it is easier to stay in touch when people move away……… if a person wants to.
    Kids do change a lot in a few years!
    Most of my good friends don’t live close to me anymore! I don’t have anyone to hang out with lately!

    • Kids do change, and I think that’s the bottom line. Just life lessons, you know? But it’s hard for a mom to see her child have to endure those things. This particular “ex-BFF” came by yesterday because she’d left a jacket here, and was heading back up north to their home.. and Kiki barely said ‘hello’ to her. A month ago she’d have been clinging all over the girl. It was strange, and sad, and I wasn’t really sure what I should say to her about it. Just not to hold grudges, I guess. I had some very good friends dump me in jr. hi. and high school both (because they suddenly wanted to do things that we had both professed as wrong in previous times) so then they didn’t want to hang with me because I didn’t want to do those things (ie: do drugs, sleep around…) I still loved my friends, and wouldn’t have judged them, but somehow they couldn’t be my friend in those conditions… I now have a hard time putting effort into friendships. Doesn’t seem worth it. My biggest hope for Kiki is that she doesn’t become calloused as I have!

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