The Problem With Friendship

Marta, is a working mom of 5 year old Ben and 18 month old Bella. In between juggling parenting, working with an evil boss, she also has two very poorly behaved dogs making her just one farm animal shy of a circus. She blogs about life, love, and everything in the middle at Lost and Forgotten. She may also have an unhealthy addiction to her iphone.

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“Nobody said it was easy. Nobody ever said it would be this hard.”

I have a love/hate relationship with friendship. I need it, the way life needs light and oxygen. The way we need our hearts to beat. Never having been a person who could solely rely upon me, being a person who hates to be alone like a form of water torture, I am shaped by relationships. They hone me, the endless crashing waves smoothing my idiosyncrasies.

Family failed me. Relationships bound by blood and circumstance don’t have the same value to me as those found and cultivated through time, love and genuine interest. Yet when those stutter. When there is a moment of divergence the pain is all the more real.

“But I promise you this, I’ll always look out for you, That’s what I’ll do.”

I am mystified at what it is ingrained in female nature that causes us to be so awful to one another. In a way I have never observed in male relationships or within those I have with men. When I look at my daughter and imagine the woman she’ll grow to be, I wonder if she will gossip behind a friend’s back. Connive and steal attention. Will friends lay in her wake, tear stained pillowcases and hurt feelings.

What can a parent do to prevent the phenomenon of the mean girl? Why do women break each other down to crawl to the top? Why do we never say what we mean and hurt because no one understands? Why does our jealously allow us to wish for the worst in the one we admire?

Perhaps I am simply too sensitive. Too caring. Too compassionate. Too everything that I want my daughter to have, but in excess. I know I will have to brush tears off her cheeks, smooth her hair back, and tell her it isn’t fair. It isn’t fair that someone who says they are your friend treats you poorly. And I hope that no mother sits upon her daughter’s bed consoling a child hurt by mine.

“Lights will guide you home. And ignite your bones. And I will try to fix you.”

How can I teach my daughter to be secure but not cocky? To love deeply without the consequence of loving more than you are loved. To be kind and considerate, but not a pushover. To never wish you felt less, simply because you hurt more. For in her I see all the potential to be the person I never was.

How do I give her the best of me without the worst?

{Lyrics from Coldplay: The Scientist, Sparks and Fix You.}