When Friendships are Hard

Angie Warren

"He's not answering my calls." I hear him say again, my oldest, my beautiful boy who is struggling through the trenches of middle-school-life.

My heart clenches. I want so much to swoop in and assure him all is well, his friend must be busy. However, mama radar has told me for a while, this friendship might be on the fritz.

"He answers other people's calls, but, not mine. I don't know what I did."

There it is again, the heart, my heart, it crumbles a bit more.

There was a time when a simple kiss on an owie would suffice, perhaps a snuggle and song, and on really bad days in his preschool years, all could be cured with a trip to Jamba Juice.

These things aren't so easy. These trials, the real life - my heart is hurting - I don't know how to navigate it - mama help me kind, these ones won't feel better with a kiss or a song, or an Orange Dream Machine.

And THAT hurts MY heart.

I know this is just the beginning of a lifetime of disappointments for him. I know this, as I've walked through a lifetime of my own, and still, still I wish I could snap my fingers and fix it. Fix the void he's feeling with the loss of this friend, fix the hurt that's left there, fix the simple fact that relationships change.

I've watched friendships of my own morph, in ways that both confuse and hurt me. It happened when I too was 12, and it's happened recently at 34. I can only encourage him to put his focus into those relationships that pour into him, as much as he pours into them.

I can hug him, though he's now a touch taller than me, a far cry from the small boy who fit neatly in my lap. I can whisper into his hair how much I love him, and assure him the hurt will lessen as time goes on. I can do all of these things, and still, it won't remove him from the situation, still, he has to stand tall on his own two feet and continue to walk forward.

Oh the gift of motherhood, it never ceases to amaze me how much pain and beauty can come from such a role. Thank you, for walking the road of motherhood with me, as we navigate the beauty and the pain, together.