I've never been one to think I have a lot of friends. To go out on a tenuous ledge, I'm even willing to admit I tend to spend most of my time wading in the waters of inadequacy and loneliness. So I was surprised tonight when my thirteen year old daughter looked at me between bites of her dinner and said, "You have a lot of friends."
Have a lot of friends?
My initial reaction was to gasp and deny the audacity of it - of course I don't!
But then I took the time to think about what she sees, hears, and takes part in...not just this week but always and I realized it's possible she's right.
I do have a lot of friends.
Ashtin spent several afternoons at West Pensacola with Sabrena. We made brownies with Ms. McQueen the week we left Pensacola. We celebrated Isabella's birthday one week and Harper's the next before the Hendersons packed my house...oh how I miss the Hendersons. Ashtin went swimming and ate ice cream with Pippin. She spent a week this summer with my best Texas friends Courtney, Mark, Chris, and Carolyn before we spent another week with Wendy -- someone who doesn't have to be my friend but is (and the best kind).
This week she's been on play dates and dinner visits. She's been home when someone dropped by just to say hello and helped her Dad deliver a pie to friends who gave us soup in return. She's walked up to our front door to find more than one holiday surprise and watched time and time again as friends offered their time, their trucks, their muscles, and their support for one reason or another.
"One of the most beautiful qualities of true friendship is to understand and to be understood."
"In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit."
"Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light."
I have friendships.
...More so than I realized.
I believe that is the best Christmas gift I could have been given.