He will probably never see this, given the fickle fluidity of the internet, but there was a time when my son claimed I was his best friend. That time is now. He just turned three and he’s managed to grasp a good number of concepts of late. Friendship among them.
So we sit here at night, sharing a chair and a blanket, watching a cartoon before bedtime, cuddled up and oh so loving. It’s rather wonderful. It’s extremely welcome. It’s also most definitely needed at present.
I love my children. Hell, I’ll even go so far as to admit I like my children. People are always going on about how there’s a difference between those two, and I agree. I like that my children are of their own minds, but that we all also share some common interests. I like that we can pal around and have a good time. I’m sure there will come a day when that changes, but who knows? Maybe once we sail past the rough and tumultuous waters of puberty things will smooth out. We aren’t there yet, but I see the storm clouds on the horizon. For the present I will happily be their friend if that’s what they want.
This doesn’t mean I’m not their parent. Whatever idiot concocted that load of horse shit is.. well an idiot. Or a shitty friend, on top of being a shitty parent. Because it’s not genuine for either to not tell their child, or friend, if something is amiss. If some one who care about is on the brink of doing something disastrously stupid you would reach out if you truly cared. Parent or friend or whatever. It’s not about them, it’s about you.
You can be a parent and a friend, one does not forego the other. It does require attention to priorities, as well as definitions of what both entail, but it’s possible to be both. And for as long as I can I will be, if my children want it that way, too.