Dear Sweet Girl,
Something you’ll find out early in life is that the young friendships you make likely won’t last a lifetime. Kids tend to make friends based upon things like mutual like of music, or because you sit near each other, or maybe because your parents are friends. When you get older, making friends will be much harder to do.
You are a girl who wears your emotions on your sleeve. No, scratch that. You push your emotions in a stroller in front of you with neon lights around it and a big sign that says “FRAGILE!” on the top. Oh, it breaks my heart to see your emotional future, love. I know you’ll be fine, but you will get hurt, too. I think that’s ok. You need a little hurt to learn how to work it the next time, right? You have some great friends now that really understand how you deal with things. Friends that will listen – and maybe roll their eyes a little – when you say things like “I really wanted to talk to you about the way you made me feel last week when you said ‘um’ to me. I got kinda sad, and thought you were being rude. I’d like for you not to do that anymore.” I hope you shake the kinks out of the blanket as you grow, and learn what to keep to yourself and what to share. And more importantly, who to share it with.
I look back on some “friends” I had when I was young, and I wish I could go back and slap myself. These people were mean, and cutting, and of absolutely zero support emotionally. I was an equally bad friend to them, because I just didn’t get it. I didn’t know how friends were supposed to act. I never had sisters, or female cousins I was close to, and I was at a deficit. Well, turns out that if your friends – just like your boyfriends – make you feel badly, or say things that are offensive to you, or make you feel unsafe, you just need to walk away.
When you get into your 20’s and 30’s, a totally new thing happens: you make friends based on the things that really, really matter. Your values, your passions, your loves, your hobbies, your beliefs are what form who you are and when you make friends based upon a mutual respect for these things, you have found your sisters.
As an only child, you will feel like you’re missing something in life. Your dad and I are lucky enough to have siblings, but that just wasn’t in the cards for you. But you know what? You will find your sisters. I am lucky enough now to have better friends to call my sisters than I’ve ever had in my life. These are strong, magnificent, brilliant women who aren’t jealous of each others success, or critical of each others failures. You will find your sisters to laugh with, and to cry with, and to yell at, and to borrow shoes from.
I have no doubt, my sweet girl, that you will find your soulmate someday. That doesn’t mean it will be a boyfriend or a husband. You may share a soul with a sister you’ve found at work, or in class, or while dropping your daughter at daycare. She’ll be there, I promise.