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The Loss Of Friends.

Mommy, Jason* doesn’t wanna be my friend anymore. He says he hates me and he won’t play with me any more.

Dash, I’m so very sorry honey.

He begins to cry and explain it makes him sad. He doesn’t have enough friends anymore. How can he make more friends? That just a few days ago Jake said he loved him.

I only have two friends, Zane pipes in.

My friends in Missouri never played with me either, Nick chimed in.

This all hit me like a ton of bricks.

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No parent wants to hear these things from their crying children. You want the world to love and embrace your children. You want them to have a army of people in their lives that love and respect them. But as any parent can attest, this isn’t usually what happens.

Childhood is hard. Really, really hard.

Harder than being an adult, if you ask me.

Kids pick on you. They dump you as a friend one day and love you the next, which leaves you confused and hurt inside. Long time friends can become your bully from one school year to the next. It’s just plain hard. And not fair, but it’s the world around them, and you can’t really escape it.

I knew I had the opportunity to share my heart with them all in that moment. I wasn’t going to sugar coat things. I wasn’t going to say something like, brush it off, shake it off, it doesn’t matter, you’re cool and if he doesn’t like you then oh well. Because, really, it does matter. It matters to Dash that Jason no longer likes him. And because it matters to Dash, it matters to me, and it matters to God.

Guys, it’s really hard being a kid – I say. A lot harder than being a grown up. Friends come and go when you’re a child much more than an adult. They say mean things more often and stop being your friend more so than when you’re an adult. I’m never going to tell you to just brush it off and don’t worry about who doesn’t like you. I’m never going to tell you to stop crying or not be upset. I remember being a kid and having my heart broken a few times over friendships that dissolved. It felt like the end of the world. And even though it really wasn’t the end of the world, it felt like it at the time.

I want you all to know something. Remember this, out of anything I say on this subject. The world may hate you one day and love you the next and then hate you again. The world might hurt you and break your heart. God will always be the only consistent love and support in your life. Even I’m going to mess up and hurt your feelings from time to time. Not on purpose but just because we’re human and we make mistakes. But God will never hurt you. He will never forsake you. He will never turn on you, never say you’re no longer His friend, His child, He will never withhold love from you, or stop talking to you.

In the end, childhood can be hard, friends may come and go, but God will never change – the same God who adores you now, will adore you forever. Remember that. You’re special and important to God and Jesus. And me and your daddy, for always.

Also know this, kids, childhood can be hard – some days hurt – and are confusing, but kids, childhood is also a blast! It’s so fun. You’re living some of the best years of your life. You all DO have friends. You don’t need 20 to be loved or special. Even just one friend is a huge blessing. I would much rather have one best friend in my life than 10 fair weather friends.

And sweeties, don’t forget you have each other. Three built in best friends who will always be there for you no matter what! (I didn’t want to dwell on this too much because, even though it’s true, I know as a child I wanted to have more friends than just my brother.)

Buds, don’t let anyone steal your joy! You’re special, guys. Love you so much. Can’t wait to see who you become as your grow up.

And with that, we climbed out of the car, tears dried, happy kids running into the house to play.

*name changed for privacy

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