My Dear Daughters,
I don’t know how to have friends.
I try to help you navigate through the social maze of girls your age. But I have no idea what I’m doing. I’m just as lost as you are.
I’ve always been well-liked. I’m quiet, even-tempered, and I avoid conflicts. Throughout school, I was friendly with everyone. I loved to socialize, joke and laugh, and have a great time with the people around me.
But my friendships never extended beyond that. The other girls were happy to let me join in on the fun when I was around, but they never sought me out.
I always had best friends. Girls I’d confide in, the ones I wanted to spend my time with. But I was never their best friend. They always confided in another girl. They always preferred to spend their time with someone else.
I’ll revisit my past. In elementary school, I thought we were mutual best friends. Then I heard stories every Monday about her fun weekend with her two best friends, and I knew I was wrong.
My best friend from middle school moved away for a few years, and we kept in touch. But then I saw her hanging out with a different friend before she told me she was back in town.
I went to a private high school and my two best friends lived in the opposite direction from school. They had a whole circle of friends that didn’t include me.
In college, I commuted and my friends lived at school. They saw each other a lot more than they saw me.
I remember every one of these best friends. I remember the good times during the day. Chatting, joking, meeting up. I also remember the nights and weekends without them. And their fun stories the next morning.
Maybe I was too quiet. Maybe I didn’t open up enough. Or maybe I talked too much and didn’t listen to their stories. Perhaps I didn’t ask enough questions. Or I asked too many. Maybe I let go of them too easily, or I held on too tight.
I honestly don’t know. Maybe they just didn’t like me.
Whatever it was, my best friends always had other best friends.
My daughters, I wish I could guide you with confidence through the maze of mean girls, cool girls, and nerds. I wish I could pass on the secret to lifelong friendship. But I can’t. I can only guess and try, like I’ve done all my life.
I hope you succeed. I hope you have a best friend. A friend you love who loves you back. But if you don’t, it’s ok.
I want you to know friends aren’t everything.
I may not have friends, but I still have so much love in my life. I have my family. We’ve been close and we’ve been far, but they’ve always been there. They have other best friends, too. And that’s ok.
I have God. I don’t always hear Him, but He always hears me.
I have you. My children, who taught me I have more love in my heart than I ever thought possible.
And I have my husband, your dad. He’s my best friend, and I’m his. And it’s an amazing thing.
And you have all of these things, too. God will always hear you. Your brother and sister will always be there for you. And your dad and I will always love you.
I’ll help you through the maze of friends as best I can. I’ll muddle through with you. And if we fail, we’ll fail together.
And we’ll still be ok. Because we have each other.
And I love you more than you’ll ever know.