It doesn't matter where my daughter Chloe goes, when she comes home, she has a new best friend. Sometimes she doesn't actually know her name, and most of the time, she'll probably never see that child again, but it doesn't matter to her.
I took the kids swimming a couple months ago, and by the time we were finished Chloe had yet another best friend. When it was time to go, they exchanged the pretty rocks they'd found to remember each other by, and they even said a little prayer together, asking Heavenly Father to please help them find each other again.
Friends are everywhere.
When Bria first started Kindergarten, my mom called and asked her if she'd made any new friends. Bria, being the literal child that she is, laughed and said, "I can't make my friends Mamah! I don't know how! Their moms and dads just bring them there!"
To her, friendship wasn't anything difficult. And even though she couldn't literally "make" friends or "build" friendships with her own two hands, she didn't perceive that any work should be involved.
Friendship is easy.
Sophia, at three years old, is constantly asking me if people like her. "He like me, Mommy?" "She like me?" "All people like me?"
She wants friends, too. And when we find children her age, they are her automatic friends. If we go to a park, or to her preschool open house, or to nursery at church she is giddy with excitement. Excitement to see her friends. Friends she's never even met before.
Everyone is a friend.
I can't help but be a little (a lot) jealous of my children's approach to friendship. When it comes right down to it, I am a little (a lot) shy, even though I've worked very hard to overcome it over the years. And when I am thrust into a situation as The New Girl, all of the insecurity and introvertedness comes flowing back.
It has been especially hard moving into such a small town. Everyone seems to know everyone else. They know all about each other's lives, families and business. Even considering the wonderful reception we've received, I still feel like there is some sort of secret society into which I have not yet been inducted.
I went to Enrichment last week. There were 9 ladies there. Pretty much the entire Relief Society. I sat quietly listening to them chatter, almost oblivious to my presence. Toward the end I did manage to have a few conversations, but I know I'm not really a part of everything. Not yet.
I went to Sophia's preschool open house and didn't talk to a single other adult besides the preschool teachers. All of the other moms had friends to talk to. They didn't seem to notice The New Girl. Then again, The New Girl probably didn't seem to notice them, either.
I went to a practice session for a gal who is opening up a music preschool. Her husband works with Joel and that is why I was invited to bring my children along. Some of the same moms that were at the preschool open house were there. But still, they all knew each other, and they didn't know me. I was on the outside looking in. Besides, I was the only one who had three children to deal with, and I probably didn't seem very approachable while chasing Sophia around and trying to keep her off of the gymnastics equipment.
On my way out of that class, I exchanged smiles with another mom. One who I know lives around the corner from me. I'd like her to be my friend.
I'll see her again. There are other chances.
A smile is good enough for now.