Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Friendships Without Age

My daughters love these girls. 
Love them. 
They became friends this summer at family camp.
Their age gap makes no difference.
They played princesses and kings and prisoners.
The playground became a fortress.
The make believe blurred into reality.
I loved watching it.

I loved seeing them run up to each other and hug each other hello.
I loved watching my more reserved daughter dancing like a disco queen with abandon with these girls by her side.
I love that there are no boundaries.  There are no rules.  They are just friends.

This is how I've taught my kids to be.  We are friends with people of all ages.

My son has what he calls his 'little best friend.'  He just turned five.  My son is half way to nine.
Some would say that's a big age gap in those years.  Some would think, oh they don't have much in common.

But they do.  Boys like cars, boys like racing, boys like playing.
Does that really ever change?

Kids, grown ups, we all like to have someone to talk with, to interact with, to play with.

Somehow in certain circles a stigma gets put on who can play with whom by age bracket.

It's silliness really.

My three year old who will go up to anyone she finds interesting and introduce herself by saying, 
"Hi I'm Audrey, Can I be your friend?" believes there are no boundaries when it comes to friends.

But she recently was told, "You can't play with us because you're too little."
"You're too little."  That was a dagger to her soul.

Let me tell you, the earth shook and her world was shattered.  Really.  I'm not exaggerating.  There were tremors radiating from where she sat due to the high pitched scream that radiated from the bottom of her toes to the tip of her head and out onto the playground for all to know.  She was not going to be told she was too little without a protest.  She had never been told that before.  It crushed her.

When she was born, because of the feisty scream she bellowed out I wrote these exact words on her scrapbook page, "I have a feeling you are going to be one who will make your voice heard."

I think I nailed it from day one. 

I know some would say that's a life lesson.  But my personal feeling is that I'll teach her we don't play that way.  We can walk away when that happens, but we won't ever make another child feel they're too young or too old to play.

Do you find you're the same way?  Do you put a stigma on what age friends you can have. 
I find I've often become friends with people ten or more years older than me.  But I also have friends who're ten or more years younger.  

It's finding something in common and feeling that kindred spirit of like mindedness that bonds us.  Age just doesn't matter.  And how much can we learn from those who've gone before us?  I think younger generations forget how much wisdom and guidance we can glean from those who've been there and done that.  

My Community Bible Study started up again.  I went yesterday and felt blessed by the Lord ten times over.  Really so many things from the welcoming hugs, to the awesome group discussion, to the speaker who touched my heart to the point of tears, and a scripture to ponder and meditate on throughout the week.  

Three times in Joshua 1, God encourages him to be strong and courageous.  His message rings true for us as well.  So I'll leave you with this encouragement that is encouraging me too.  
Yes, I know I just said encourage a few too many times.  I'm typing quickly here remember.  Trying to make wise use of my time.  So the editing isn't too detailed.  
With that aside, please let this minister to you today...

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." 
Joshua 1:9

He truly is with us, wherever we go.  No matter what we do, who we speak with.  I pray for His words when I speak and His eyes when I see hurting in the world, His heart when I interact with my family, my friends, with strangers.  To be more like Him every day because He is with me every step of the way.

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