Bits of Sweetness: The mark of a true friend

The mark of a true friend

Friends have been on the mind lately. I've thought about what a good friend is, and what comprises a  great friendship. It is something so easy to take for granted, and hard to put a finger on, but it was good for the soul to put into words just what a good friendship means and is. A few days ago, I had something happen that unfortunately, several of you can probably relate to. A friend felt quite compelled to chew me out over things that were bugging them, things that I guess could just not be left alone. The world couldn't go on until they had had their say. And, it hurt. I appreciate honesty; I really do, but there is much wisdom in speaking the truth in love and letting go of the small things. After all, what do we gain by holding onto the small things that we count great annoyances?

 Ah what a wonderful thing it would be to eliminate all of life's annoyances. I mean, really, can you imagine? No more annoying drivers. No more children who just have to make a huge mess right when company is coming over. No more rude comments. No more having a brand new outfit rip. No more people making a big deal over the little things in life. Hold up. Wait. That last one. That is what my heart is most on right now. Because that, is the very thing upon which my friend felt compelled to criticize me for. Making a big deal over little things.

This. This is music to my soul. The offending irritations to my friend were that of celebrating the little things. It hurt because it related to our son. He loves legos. And building. To this friend, it was really, super annoying that I would make posts about how smart our son is for what he builds. The response was something like, "It's not like he is sooo smart just for building towers. That's normal kid stuff that all kids do." And a similar remark for his ingenious idea of picking a long eye spy book as a bedtime story. According to them, it's just normal kid stuff. It doesn't need to be celebrated. All kids do it. Your kid isn't any extra special or extra smart or genius just because he does either. So basically, stop posting and making a big deal about it and calling him smart when it's just normal kid stuff. 

Ahh my friend. This is where I beg to differ. Normal kid stuff, eh? Yes, I totally agree that the "offending examples" were normal kid stuff but think about this- if we're not going to celebrate and appreciate normal kid stuff, then what will we notice? Just the grand and spectacular? Just the things that are maybe extra noteworthy like nailing the periodic table or spewing off words in French or getting all A+s?  Here is my question? Why? What is the point of that? If we are so focused on not being annoyed by posts that might be overly dramatic to us, and not having to see them, and only hearing the things that are truly spectacular don't we start missing the art of appreciation? I think so. Life is so much better when we stop giving heed to the annoying and put more focus on letting go, seeing the positive, and appreciating the little things. {And just for the record, I have to argue the point of our son not being anything extra smart or special for his lego creations (which, ahem, said friend referred to as towers. If you know us well you know our son doesn't build towers. He builds creations that he names. Rockets. Spaceships. Towns. Not "towers.") They are incredibly complex, and have names and he puts so much thought into them. It blows my mind. It's stuff I couldn't make if I wanted to. He's only 5 and doing this. Why yes all kids build towers, but I happen to appreciate the incredible thought our very smart son puts into these. As for the bedtime story idea being ingenious, he put thought into that too. It wasn't just a reason to delay bedtime, like all normal kids do. But again, you'd have to really know us to appreciate this. Moving on.}  I don't know about you, but it's kindof an unspoken parenting that we cheer each other on in the things, little and small. Are there things we feel might be over exagerations? Oh sure! I mean really, to you what might be just so utterly darling that your daughter did might not come across so much to me. That phrase your son says that you just get a kick out of? Ok so big deal but here's the thing- we still cheer each other on. We might not have the same exact degree of enthusiasm, but do we ever still love our kids and love to see other parents loving on their own! Bragging a little or shouting out to the world that our son just did the cutest thing (even if ok, years later we look back and kindof laugh at our enthusiasm) means that we sure as heck love our kiddos. We think the world of them. How, may I ask, is that a negative thing? It's not. And, yes, while balance is good (I mean, it is a good thing for our kids to not be up to the moon in ego), all that parenting love and adoration is not a bad thing. You can't show too much love. You really can't. Neither can you under appreciate the little things.

And more thoughts on good friends. I started to think about what makes a good friend. Because when you start having to explain yourself to the tune of someone assuming less or the worst of you, or to annoyances happening over things you've done, you have to wonder if "friend" is really the case. To me, this is what makes up a good friend-

Good friends-
Delight in the other one's joy.
Are not looking for (or bugged by) the little annoyances that happen in your life
Let the little things go
Uplift each other
Can have a great time doing not much of anything; just being together is enough.
Give each other unspoken permission to brag on their kids, or accomplishments, or anything else exciting be it little or big.
Aren't intimidated upon hearing good news from the other.
Love nearing about "normal kid stuff" or even just "normal life stuff"
Resolve conflict with love rather than insults and demeaning
Assume the best
Work through and encourage even during the worst
Are those you don't have to explain yourself to. They know you. They get you. They understand you and don't misread you.

My sentiments exactly

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