Friendship by Indu Balakrishnan

I had this talk with my daughter the other day. Basically, about disobedience and lack of respect and yada yada. Something about her not coming clean about something. And I, of course, use every opportunity to turn it into a Yoda session. I gently explained to her that honesty and transparency was critical in every friendship. And that she needs to tell me whatever happened. And then face the consequence. Really not a big deal. 

She gaped at me like I was explaining the dark matter formed during the particle accelerator explosion. She was like – but Amma, I am your daughter, not your friend. 

Now that stumped me hard. How could she not think I was her friend. And then I had to sit with her and explain that I am her mother, but I am also her friend. And what is required between a mother and daughter includes what’s there between two friends. 

And I genuinely believe in it. But I do not limit it to just between mother and daughter. It should be there in any good relationship. Any relationship worth having and relishing should have characteristics of friendship. In my world, they would include trust, transparency, and honesty. And the most important of them all – no judgement. For me, that is extremely necessary for me to open up. 

I have some wonderful friends in my life. And I have had some brilliant moments with them. Most of them I have known since school. And then a few I made along the way. It is a fact that I have changed over the years. I am not entirely the girl that my school friends met. And the ones that I became friends with in my later years would not be able to recognize the girl I was in my teens. 

But the point is, what I share about myself to each one of them will not be the same. The side of me that loves and enjoys a good Marvel Movie would not be shown to just about anyone. The side that hides a world of pain would stay shut safe inside and away from most of the world. It does not mean that I am bracketing my friends in order of close, closer, and closest. No. There are just some specific sides of me that they see. For whatever reasons. For example, the mom in me that whines about and mocks my kids are probably reserved for those with kids and not those who have not been through this journey. 

My friends mean the world to me. It does not matter if I speak to them once a week or once a year. I have always been able to pick up from where I left off. They have been a big part of my life, and they’d always have a role to play in it, one way or another. 

Tell me your friends, and I shall tell you who you are. I have some wonderful ones that bring out the best in me. I have always been closer to friends than family for some reason, and I don’t think that will ever change.

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