Sometimes I worry for my boy.
He's so very much like me, in many of the ways I am uncomfortable with myself. The quality which has stood out to me lately is how we both tend to respond to friendships. We have the inclination, when we find someone with whom we really seem to connect, to form a strong bond to that person. To count on them, miss them when they're not around, wonder what they'd think of this, that, or the other thing.
And I suppose that's not necessarily bad...
But it leaves one so open to being hurt. Perhaps it's human nature to be forgotten when there is a distance or passage of time. Or simply to be replaced. Maybe it's something everyone goes through. Being burned - forgotten, abandoned - by a friend. Putting yourself out there, believing you've found something special, then finding that it wasn't so special to them.
So when I see my son put his heart and soul into a friendship, I find myself trembling a little. I watch, hoping he won't have to feel the pain of rejection ... not just yet. I bite my lip against warning him not to "come on too strong," not to "overstay his welcome," not to make himself tiresome. I stay silent, hoping. Hoping that the burden I've carried won't become his. Praying that the ways he reminds me so much of myself won't necessarily mean he'll walk the same road.
Swallowing the lump in my throat. Letting go.
Friendship - real friendship - is a funny thing. It feels like such a gamble. You risk so, so much. But the payoff may make it all worthwhile. Is it true, it is "better to have loved and lost" than not traveled the path at all? In spite of everything....