“Learn to be more compassionate company, as if you were somebody you were fond of and wish to encourage.” ― Anne Lamott
On the way back to the car from the library on Tuesday, Maeve was holding my hand. She looked up at me and said Mommy is your friend sort of matter-of-factly. Now, Maeve has a small issue with pronouns, she thinks 'your' means 'my'... because that's how we use it, right? Me and My have not yet come into her vocabulary, so what she meant to say was that I am her friend.
I squeezed her hand a little tighter and said "I sure am, honey, and I like being your friend." That was a good moment in the life of my motherhood, an acknowledgement of our mutual affection and the fun we have together. I know there is much more to being a mom than being a friend, I am Mrs. Bossypants most of the time with her, so it's good to know that she knows how much I love her, and thinks of us as having fun, despite having to follow orders.
A mom friend of mine, and an incredible writer, wrote this week that she has learned to be a friend to herself, and the statement knocked the wind out of me. This is what I am spending my adult life learning how to do. I have been, I daresay, a good friend to others for a long time, but am only just discovering what it takes to be a friend to one's self.
First and foremost, to me it means to be kind to myself, as kind as I would be to any other human being, even a total stranger. It is my job to speak kindly to myself, encouragingly, to be good company for myself, as Anne Lamott says. I don't know what the next step is after that, because I am still learning this one, but I will let you know when I get there.
I am my daughter's friend, and I am becoming a friend to myself. Both of those seem like a big deal to me.