Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Growing Friends

"Friendship is born at that moment when one man says to another: 
'What? You too? I thought that no one but myself ... '"
{C.S. Lewis}

Cate bumped her head into a guy's arm at Qdoba last week, causing his drink to drop to the ground. It splattered on Cate's legs and prompted some tears. A combination of embarrassment and frustration, a teary Cate buried her face into my shoulder.

Her friend Malaika walked over to my other side, made eye contact, and said, "I know how you feel ..." before she and her mom told a story of Malaika accidentally spitting her gum into another woman's hair while cheering at a basketball game. They laughed at the story now as they retold it.

Cate wasn't laughing yet but she had a friend who came along side her in the midst of her embarrassment and frustration. The words "I know how you feel ..." softened Cate's demeanor.

Malaika walked with Cate into the bathroom, where they washed off her soda-splattered legs. My girl walked out cleaner and happier.

And I caught a glimpse of friendship working its transforming power.

I'm thankful for this season that has given us more time with Malaika and her parents as our girls play soccer together and the dads coach together. Without launching into Michael W. Smith's "Friends are friends forever ...," I have learned friends have to adapt as seasons change. And, yes, sometimes that's hard. Schedules, commitments and priorities sometimes work against the logistics of friendships. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't try.

Schedule a play date after school at the park. Meet for breakfast instead of lunch. Get together with your friend's family on the weekend. Email. Vox. Text. Call. What you used to do might not always work. But friendships do withstand the test of time if you invest yourself.

It's important to teach kids to help with chores around the house, how to read and make scrambled eggs, when to say please and thank you. But it's also important to teach them how to be a friend and appreciate when someone is a friend to them. Being a friend and appreciating friends is a life-long process, but I really believe it's never too early to start.

Joining Holley Gerth for her weekly dose of encouragement at Coffee for Your Heart and Lyli Dunbar for Thought-Provoking Thursday.

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  1. Well this made me smile. Loved how your daughter's friend came beside her and encouraged her. Such a beautiful example of friendship. I love how you stressed the importance of teaching out children to be a friend. I think that is something we might easily overlook but it is so true. And our children learn so much by how we do life. This is a great reminder to me to spend time reflecting on how I'm investing in my friends. Great message. Love that Holley Gerth. Her prompts inspire some fabulous posts. Love you. I will see you SOON! :)

  2. Kristin,
    What a beautiful story and photo :) and the C.S. Lewis quote...perfect :) and you're right, it is a lifelong process to learn to be a good friend....thankful, we have a teacher in that hymn, What a Friend We Have in Jesus...was my favorite in 5th grade :)

  3. KristinHillTaylor4/23/2014 8:43 PM

    Ah, yes, that's a good song for this post! Love your sweet words here, Dolly!

  4. I love that quote from C.S. Lewis, I pretty much love everything that he writes :)
    Learning to be a good friend takes such persistence, love, and grace as you said, and man can it be outright tough at times! Great reminder of how important friendships are.

  5. KristinHillTaylor4/24/2014 12:27 PM

    I actually haven't read a ton of C.S. Lewis, but I always like what I do read. Good to see you here, Alecia. I'm glad you enjoyed the post.

  6. If you had launched into MWS song, I would have been singing right along with you!

  7. KristinHillTaylor4/27/2014 1:58 PM

    This makes me like you even more. :)

  8. What a sweet story of young friendship...and you shared it beautifully. I'm glad I found you at the linkup!

  9. KristinHillTaylor6/20/2014 4:31 PM

    Thanks, Karen! When I read the (in)courage post today I remembered this post of mine immediately. I'm glad you stopped by!

  10. What a sweet story! Kids often teach us so much! "And a little child should lead them" May we too have friends who are willing to wipe the soda off of our knees too!! Thanks for sharing this story; put a smile on my face!

  11. KristinHillTaylor6/20/2014 7:48 PM

    So glad it made you smile, Tara! Thanks for reading and commenting.