I don’t remember doing anything alone. By the time I was old enough to remember or able to do things, my brother had been born. Summer camp, elementary school…I did it all with a built-in buddy. I met my best friend Hope when I was 11, and I don’t have many memories that don’t include her. Brandy started completing my sentences when I was 15, and together, we went to college. I honestly think the 3 of us could take over the world if not for our day jobs (and the small mini-me’s that follow us around). When I was 18, my family adopted my sister, Vikki. Somehow she was separated from us for the first half of our lives but I still don’t understand how because while we couldn’t be more different, our hearts share a beat. I was married at 21 – before I even graduated college. (Do I recommend that? Absolutely not. Do I regret it? Absolutely not.) Most people stop adding “best friends” after the teenage years, but I got a bonus. Janay and I became friends and then coworkers and then family. Most days, she knows me better than I know myself.
One of my most fervent prayers for Brynna has been that she find strong, long-terrm girlfriends to love and do life with. I still pray that, but today, I realized that God has been answering another prayer without my even asking. Brynna is an only child. I’m constantly aware that she doesn’t have the built-in buddy I had. I’m ever-concerned that she not feel alone. But in the midst of my worry, I didn’t realize that she doesn’t. She doesn’t feel alone because she learned very early to make friends wherever she goes. The pool, the playground or the park…she has learned not to be afraid of being alone and reaching out to the person next to her. Just this weekend, as I laid on the beach thinking about how much more fun it would be if my sister were here and BG had her cousins to play with, Brynna picked up her pail, walked over to a little girl building a sand castle and built something great with a new friend.
All this time I spent worrying about her being alone, she was becoming more rooted in who she is. All the prayers for God to bring people to her were unnecessary because she was doing something way more important – she was learning how to go to people.
We spend our days as moms trying to teach life lessons to our little ones. But when we take a step back, more often than not, they are teaching us…