I watch my son start a soccer game on the beach, a bottle flipping contest on the street, and sit to discuss all things Minecraft in our yard.
All with kids he just met. Childhood: instant friends, just add one little thing in common or simply proximity.
It’s not so easy with adults.
Maybe it’s because we’re all so busy that it’s hard to find the time to spend with someone new or it it’s difficult to make the commitment to spend that rare free time with someone we don’t really know.
Or maybe we have the time, but it feels awkward to start up a new friendship.
There are so many different factors involved in making a new friend as an adult.
Whether it is due to a lack of time or not being sure if we’ll really click with someone or finding we have some fundamental differences that we can’t get past (or if you’re introverted like I am and it takes a long time to open up to someone), adult friendships are complicated.
Which is why it’s heartbreaking when a friend, a really good, true friend, moves away.
I said goodbye to one of those friends this weekend.
She’s moving over a thousand miles away.
And I know, I know, in this day of social media and technology, we have all sorts of ways to keep to in touch.
But it’s not the same. I’ll miss our weekly coffee dates full of support, laughs, and (yes) gossip.
Where I knew that what I said wasn’t going any further than our small cafe table.
Where there truly was support and neither of us would make a judgmental comment to or about the other.
I’ll miss our texts full of “ugh, I know school pick up is in 5 minutes, but I can’t get my kids, can you?” or “my kid needs a ride to soccer, can you take him?” that came from both of us, with the other helping out, no questions asked. The kind of help that we both gave with no deep sighs before agreeing to- it was truly not a problem on either end since we each helped the other out a lot. It can be hard to ask for help and easy to feel like you’re being taken advantage of, but this wasn’t that kind of friendship. This was saying “no problem” and having it truly not be a problem.
I’ll miss sitting on the sidelines of our kids’ games together and running into each other at school activities.
The ease of a friendship where you can just be yourself, saying how you’re really feeling, never giving a second thought to what you’re wearing, and knowing you have each other’s backs… it’s not something I come across often.
And I know we’ll still be friends, despite the distance. But I also know that it won’t be the same.
I’ve been the friend that moved away. It changes things.
I wish she could have stayed. I wish I could make the friends I have left here all promise they aren’t going anywhere.
Because this is hard.