I've been thinking about friends a lot lately.
Maybe it's because I have a birthday coming up next month (fifty-threemendous) or maybe I'm just sick of my friends...
NOTE: Just kidding about being sick of my friends. I'm not sick of my friends at all. I love them and they love me.
NOTE to NOTE: At least I'm pretty sure that they love me. They take my calls, at least.
I think the real reason is that I keep thinking about what it would be like to be a child who is abused and neglected. A child who is saved from a dire situation, but then is taken from the only home she knows (albeit an unsafe one) and placed into foster care. Typically that child will not only leave her parents and family, but will also leave her friends and perhaps even her siblings.
NOTE: Normally when children are removed by CPS from a home, all children are removed. Many times a family of more than one or two kids cannot be placed together in the same foster home.
The child will have to go to a new school and make new friends. He may never see his old friends again.
When I was at Miraval recently with my friends
NOTE: Click here to read about my most recent trip http://blog.paigemcdaniel.org/2014_06_01_archive.html
I did a workshop where they asked us to make a pie chart of how we actually spend most of our time. My pie was heavily weighted to work (Listen to that, CPD board members!) and television (natch). Family had a big part of the pie, but the smallest piece of my pie (that was important, anyway) was friends. We then were asked to draw a pie of how we wanted our pie to look and of course I enlarged my friend pie quite a bit. Great, huh?
But what have I actually done about it?
Here is a photo of Joe and me with some really old friends -- some that we haven't broken bread with in years.
I had them all over to dinner not long ago and I put a big clock in the center of my dining room table (along with flowers and candles, too -- my Momma raised me right, people). Time passes. That night was a ball of fun, but I'm greedy. I want more.
I could just cry thinking about all of the friends I've lost. Maybe some through controversy and fights, but most just from letting them slip away.
I'm sure you have some too. Some that just became inconvenient. Your circumstances changed and your lives didn't gel as much. Or maybe you got to know them just enough to know that you didn't want them much anymore.
Here I have let friends leave my life without a word of protest, but the pitiful kids Community Partners of Dallas serves have lost everyone they knew and loved in an instant -- and most of them do it kicking and crying and screaming. I let mine go without a fight.
I'm making a pledge to you now that I'm going to look up and find some of the people that I've let slip away. I'll report back to you. They may not all be thrilled to hear from me, but at least I will have tried.
Our kids don't even get the chance.