When a Kid Gives Relationship Advice

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? 

Picture courtesy: http://leanpathways.blogspot.se/2011/11/humor-in-adult-learning.html
Picture courtesy: http://leanpathways.blogspot.se/2011/11/humor-in-adult-learning.html

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.

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8 thoughts on “When a Kid Gives Relationship Advice

  1. I used to have a few best friends while growing up…now, not so many lol. I still have best friends but I never tell or share anything thing personal with any of them. Its just me but, they are still special to me, as am I to them.

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  2. I think as you get older you start to appreciate the friends you do have around you a lot more and begin, perhaps, to realise they were that special friend? When I was your age and used to cling to my various ‘best friends’ and guard them jealously but, you know, all but one of them have faded from my life over time. Now I appreciate just whoever is put my way and enjoy their company. I probably don’t have any one person who I tell everything to but I suspect that I tell everything through telling it to lots of different people! Some of it I tell by telling it on the blog to people like you 🙂

    I’m not sure that helps at all or even makes sense! But it is what comes to my mind.

    By the way, Rebecka is just lovely! My children have already fallen in love with her (my daughter says she is ‘perfect’!) and she is proving to be a very easy person to get on with. I hope she’s enjoying her time here in Bangladesh with us – she seems to be! 🙂

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    1. Yeah well… you have your wife, don’t you? It’s not really about sharing as in having to tell everything to a certain person or something like that, it’s just that sometimes you lack a certain presence in your life. That could be a best friend, or a boyfriend or a mentor or whatever… but anyway what I was talking about here is that it might not be necessary :P.

      Yeah she is, isn’t she? I have honestly not known her for that long, and never hung out with her outside work, but the little I have seen of her I have liked as well :). She updated her blog yesterday or the day before, and she seems to be in the process of “soaking it all in” :).

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  3. Nothing is necessary in life, until we make it seem to be, right? I’m someone who has been lucky enough to have more than one best friend. But, sometimes, when you really need someone to talk to or just be with, you find yourself alone. I’ve craved for the presence of someone special during those times, someone who would always be there for me.
    I can relate to your situation, especially because my youngest sister is in the same boat. It disturbs her a lot that she doesn’t have a best friend.
    Like I tell her, I’d tell you also that life has its own ways… You will find what you’re looking for, I’m sure. Until then, stick to those who care. And above all, befriend yourself. Nobody could beat that (first-hand experience :)).

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    1. Yeah well as my niece taught me, I don’t believe it’s necessary to have a “best friend”. When you say you have more than one best friend, like another girl who commented, I could probably say the same. I have a couple of friends who I can share anything with, but still I can’t… I don’t know how to explain. Like in movies, the best friend comes over at any time and knows everything about you and you do stuff together… I don’t even know if that happens in real life, or if my image of a best friend is purely fictional. Anyway, that’s what I think of when I think of the term “best friend” :P.

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