Wednesday, January 19, 2011

BFF or ... IBFF

My sweet Ashley has a BFF named Kylie.  Kylie is a little older that Ashley.  She is a little braver than Ashley.  She is willing to try new things a bit more readily than Ashley.  She inspires Ashley to take on new challenges ... even tough ones.  She gets to do more things than Ashley because she's older.  She is spoken of with great respect and awe in our house.

And, she's 100% imaginary.

(Get it?  Imaginary Best Friend Forever?)

Ashley is our first kiddo to have an imaginary friend and at first I was a little skeptical.  My first several responses to Ashley's comments about Kylie (and all the amazing things she does) was, "Who?  Who are we talking about?"  I was trying to make Kylie fit the identity of one of Ashley's real friends.  It was obvious that the amazing feats of this sweet little buddy couldn't all be that of another preschooler, but I thought maybe Ashley was compiling a number of aspects from several different friends into one identity.  But then I got to know Kylie a little better and made an interesting discovery.  Kylie is everything Ashley isn't.

Kylie used to suck her thumb, but doesn't anymore.  Kylie gets to stay up during nap time and read chapter books instead of having to sleep.  Kylie got to get her ears pierced ... and she didn't even cry.  Kylie plays with Ashley and doesn't boss her around.  Kylie is cool.

I don't claim to know the psychology behind imaginary friendships, but it is obvious to me that this friendship is meeting a need that Ashley has right now.  A need for a confidant.  A need for a buddy.  A need for someone close to her heart.

The same needs her mommy has.  The same needs you have!

God made each of us with a need for relationships.  We are engineered with a desire to connect with other people.  We are created with a longing to be known intimately.  We are wired with a ache to be someone's friend.

I am so grateful for the people God has put in my life to fill that desire, that longing, that ache.  They make my life fuller, richer and more satisfying (hmm ... satisfyinger isn't a word ... but should be!).

I'm sure that this won't come as much of a surprise, but Sara Groves has a wonderful song about just that.  It's entitled, "Every Minute", and talks about those friendships that nurture us, that validate us, that give us security.  You really need to hear her sing it to truly appreciate it, but the lyrics are beautiful all by themselves:

Every Minute

By Sara Groves

I am long on staying
I am slow to leave
Especially when it comes to you my friend
You have taught me slow down
And to prop up my feet
It's the fine art of being who I am
And I can't figure out
Why you want me around
I'm not the smartest person I have ever met
But somehow that doesn't matter
No it never really mattered to you at all

And at the risk of wearing out my welcome
At the risk of self-discovery
I'll take every moment
And every minute that you'll give me

And I can think of time when families all lived together
Four generations in one house
And the table was full of good food
And friends and neighbors
That's not how we like it now
Cause if you sit at home you're a loser
Couldn't you find anything better to do
Well no I couldn't think of one thing
I would rather waste my time on than sitting here with you

And at the risk of wearing out my welcome
At the risk of self-discovery
I'll take every moment
And every minute that you'll give me

And I wish all the people I love the most
Could gather in one place
And know each other and love each other well
And I wish we could all go camping
And lay beneath the stars
And have nothing to do and stories to tell
We'd sit around the campfire
And we'd make each other laugh remembering when
You're the first one I'm inviting
Always know that you're my friend

And at the risk of wearing out my welcome
At the risk of self-discovery
I'll take every moment
And every minute that you'll give me
Every moment and every minute that you'll give me
Every moment and every minute that you'll give me
Every minute

(From Sara Groves' album, "All Right Here")

I love the imagery she creates with her words:

"The fine art of being who I am" ~ who am I truly?  what do you see when I am the real me?
"At the risk of self-discovery" ~ what if I find out more about the real me than I want to?
"At the risk of wearing out my welcome" ~ what if you don't particularly like the real me?
"And I can't figure out why you want me around" ~ do you really like me?  really?  how?  why?
"Know each other and love each other well"  ~ what else could my heart want?

Another beautiful example of Sara's profound poetry that sings what is in my heart!  It makes me tear up just about every time I hear it because it brings to mind the people in my life with whom I want to "prop up my feet" and "take every minute" they'll give me.  I'm certain you have people that come to your mind, too.  And isn't it wonderful to know that we have that same effect on someone else?!?

Such an extraordinary snapshot of friendship.  A confidant.  A buddy.  Someone close to your heart.

Without really talking about it, Brett and I have both naturally accepted Kylie into our realm of family friendships.  When Ashley mentions something Kylie did today ("Kylie got new fish today ... just like Aaron.") we nod, comment and ask questions ... just as if she were a real person.

I guess, because to Ashley, she is.  IBFF :)

1 comment:

  1. Rebekah had a "sister" when she was younger (before Mal & Beff were born). She slept in the tub. LOL And Caleb had an imaginary friend named "Jake", he was older, could drive and do all kinds of amazing things. They laugh about them now!


Thanks for visiting! Your comments are warm fuzzies! (And con-crit is always welcome, too.)