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  • Writer's pictureSherry White

PF's and BF's

My daughter pointing at some girl she’s never met before she’s my best friend.

No, honey, she’s not. She’s not even a friend yet. But you can say hi.

She’s three years old so to her everyone and everything is her best friend.

Last month, yellow was her best friend.

But as she teeters off to say hi to this new girl, I start thinking about my daughter and all the friends she will make.

And I desperately want to tell her that not every new girl will become a friend and not everyone will be worthy of that title.

It’s why I cringe when I hear her calling people we just met at the park friends.

I wish there was a word just for those people, those new girls she’s going to meet. Possible friends, maybe? PF’s? Yes, that’ll work for the sake of this post. We can have BF’s and PF’s.

I want her to know that not every pf is going to become a bf. And that sometimes she might have bf’s that should never have made it out of the pf category.

I want to tell her all this because calling someone a friend means something.

It means they are kind to you.

They want the best for you.

They are a fan of yours.

They are loyal.

They have your back. Which also means they don’t talk about you behind your back.

They are trustworthy and honest.

They respect you.

And if they aren’t those things, well, then THEY ARE NOT YOUR FRIENDS.

I want my daughter to know that.

That there is a difference in bf’s and pf’s.

That possible friends can turn into pretend friends.

And pretend friends are the worst.

I don’t want her wasting her time wondering why people who call themselves her friends play games with her friendship or don’t support her successes.

That’s not to say that she shouldn’t be a friend to everyone she meets.

She should be kind and respectful and compassionate and honest with people.

She should treat people the way she wants to be treated.

But when people are not that way with her she should not give them the title of Friendy McFrienderson. (Yes, that’s the name all my true friends get. Just kidding.)

She should save it for the rare and treasured few.

Yes, few.

I want her to know that although it may be popular to have thousands of friends on social media, that in real life it doesn’t work that way.

You get a few.

Keep them tight to the vest.

Treasure them and enjoy life together.

Enrich each other and be a beautiful tapestry of all that is wonderful about true friendship.

I want her to know that this circle may change throughout the years as it shrinks and expands.

But don’t ever measure your circle by its size. Measure it by its strength.

By its ability to bend without breaking.

Grow without wearing thin.

Love without hating. There’s a thin line, after all.

And like anything else, how often it makes you laugh and encourages you to eat chocolate. Dark chocolate.  With sea salt and caramel.

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