I never thought if I liked them or not. They just were my 'friends'.
I invited them to my Bas Mitzva. I played over on shabbos. I went to the country in the summer with them. They came to my wedding. They were my friends.
At the risk of sounding shallow I will tell you what I thought a friend was.
(I hope to redeem myself at the end of this post).
The first and most important ingredient for me was that my friend should think I was "all that."
Which meant that I was pretty, she'd rather hang out with me than any other friends.
The second important thing was that I could tell her my 'secrets'.
Which really meant stuff about other people.(Loshon Harah to be exact). What did I know about secrets? (B"H)
The third and most important was that they always picked me up FIRST for a Shabbos walk and they ALWAYS saved me a seat.
And they thought everything I said was either funny or smart. (I'm not that funny and it's obvious I wasn't that smart.)
Now when I think back to those days I cannot believe anyone wanted to be with me at all.
But maybe we were all the same at that age. Maybe that is what our needs were back then.
I think back to our fights, as girls usually have them, and I cannot believe we were so ridiculous.
I am saying 'we' but who knows maybe it was just me?
Obviously as I got older I completely changed my understanding of what a friend is.
I have been extremely fortunate to have several very close friends.
And a best friend too.(but that's for another post entirely....)
Now I know that friendships come in many different sizes, shapes, colors and even ages.
I have close friends that are 15-20 years younger than me and some 5-20 years older than me.
I have close friends I speak to a few times a year. I have close friends I speak to a few times a week.
What makes a friend for me today is many things.
For me the most important attribute in any friendship is honesty. Mixed with love.
I adore my friends that can point out my shortcomings and make me feel good about them.
I adore my friends that listen to me complain , say all kinds of outrageous things and then backtrack on most of them, without judging me or making me feel foolish.
I adore my friends that seem to still respect me even after they know me better...
I adore my friends that say "I want to tell you something but don't tell anyone" because I know they trust me and so I must deserve it.
I especially adore the friends that don't expect anything from you but will give you everything.
And most of all I loooove my friends who love my children. Those are the friends that understand that to love you is to love whatever is part of you.
And so I have this kind of friend who...
after I borrow something from her,
forget to return it,
sends her husband to pick it up from me,
car doesn't start,
waits in the hot sun for AAA
and still says 'please, it was no big deal' when I tried to apologise profusely,
that inspired me to write this post today.
Today is a happy day in her life, which in turn makes it a happy day in mine.
Today her daughter R.R. became engaged to a wonderful boy.
(I don't know him but he must be wonderful to deserve my friend's wonderful daughter).
She is the kind of friend who cries and laughs with me at the same time.
She is the kind of friend I am fortunate to have at this stage of my life.
When her daughter P.R.K. got married I was so so excited.
I scrapped a picture of some of us close friends.
We were all joyful for her.
That is what my friends are like now.
(and I bet some of my childhood friends are just as wonderful if only I understood what true friendship was at that time.)
It may not be the 'best' layout I ever did, but it is one of the dearest to my heart.
And that is what it's all about.
This is really an simple layout to follow. I bet you can even make a nicer one than I did.
Practice writing on wavy lines on a solid paper first.
When you feel ready go for it.
Use a pencil first just in case you make a mistake and when you are ready go over it with a sharpee.
So simple in concept.
So deep in emotion.
Here is another layout I made of another very close friend.
It's not about the picture at all.
It's about writing down your appreciation for those who matters in your life.
This is also such an easy layout to do.
I once again used a sharpie to accent my layout.
The middle words are from love,elsie. I don't think they sell it anymore but you can copy the idea.
I love doodling on the edges of my layouts to make a frame. I also enjoy using a white backround paper. Always works.
I bet you're thinking, what does this one have to do with friendship?
Well this little girl who is is now a big girl, (it's 7 years later) is also someone I consider a close friend.
She laughs at my jokes.
We confide in each other.
I trust her and she trusts me.
Isn't that friendship?
Here we are the four of us.
My best friend.
Her daughter. (the one from the post above).
Our daughters are Friends Forever.
And I am blessed.
With friendships that better me as a person every day of my life.
I have so many people in this category but I will save them for later.
You will get to meet them all.
Just hang around.
And while you do go scrap a layout of your close friend.
You will feel so good about it.