As usual, in the midst of studying for an exam, my urge to blog is stronger than ever. I want to thank you guys for always showing up when I need you the most. I also need to explain to you that when I am talking about the lack of a presence in my life, I am not um… “inviting” any one of you to become that presence, so to speak. It’s a little bit difficult to explain, but I’ll give it a try nevertheless. See I understand that the internet has provided us with immense possibilities – I myself have at times quite literally “lived” online – but they can actually never replace the “solid” experience. I might yearn for that presence because I don’t have a best friend, a sibling close to my age or a mentor, as maybe is the norm. And despite how much time I can get from someone online, it all vanishes the moment I log out. Do you see what I mean?
There was a moment of serendipity a few days ago, when my seven year old niece (cousin’s daughter) said: “You don’t have to have a best friend. I don’t have one.” How often do you hear a seven year old say something like that? She said that in response to something she heard on the show she was watching on TV, with me quietly dozing off beside her (for the record, I am an excellent babysitter). It was a sluggish yet spirited me who replied: “Yes, you’re right. I don’t either.” If a seven year old can think like that, how ashamed shouldn’t I be? Or is it that somewhere between my generation and hers, something happened and humans became more intelligent? Because I sure as hell wouldn’t voluntarily ever say anything against the norm at her age (even though, involuntarily, I did deviate quite a lot).
The reason she said it can’t possible have to do with her wanting to deviate from the norm, as a result of not having a best friend (and partly being jealous of everybody else who has one). I mean not even I, who was diagnosed (by many a parents) as overly mature for my age, would think/feel that way at the age of seven. It has to be simply because she doesn’t have a best friend and everything is going fine without one. I pray with all my heart that she feels the same way ten years from now. (If nothing else, when I’m retired, I can rest assured that I have done all I can to prevent the youngsters around me from making the same mistakes I made.)
One could say that she’s a kid, she doesn’t have any problems. But one and a half year ago, she became a sister. Don’t most firstborn go through a phase of jealousy when their parents have another child? I’m sure she had “problems” then. For her, those were probably big problems. There is only so much a kid can take. Did she have anyone to share those problems with? Children also need to share, you know. So despite her going through issues, she can confidently imply that a best friend is not a requirement for a good life.
What enrages me so, are all those people who have best friends and thus feel obliged to promote that relationship. How stupid are you if you’re talking about the wonders of having a best friend to someone who doesn’t have one? It’s not like talking about the benefits of owning a Kindle or a tablet; it’s not something I can just go out and get.
I have a lot to learn from that kid. Because all this reasoning jumps out the window at nights when I don’t have anyone to talk to.