Even in adulthood, we learn new things about friendship.
As a parent, when I visit my own friends or attend any sort of social gathering, I tend to persuade my kids to mix and mingle with my friend’s kids too. Instead of just hugging their dad, attaching themselves to him while I’m having the time of my life catching up with the babes. I didn’t see it as something wrong. I thought it was just a natural thing to do. You know, encouraging the kids to socialize.
Ever since Mother died, Dad has been forwarding pictures of his friend’s kids. At the same time, mentioning facts, that I believe are consciously typed onto Whatsapp to show that we (the kids) have a common interest and that we should be friends too. Like our parents. Honestly, I wasn’t keen on the idea. I didn’t even respond to the fact that we have something in common. To me, it is like, “I’m sorry dad, but no. I do not have the obligation to be friends with your friend’s kids. Even though we are both docs“
And then it struck me, my dad’s intention could be purely out of wanting me to socialize. Meet new people. Although it is very uncomfortable for me to do so as an adult. Maybe I just don’t know how to make friends anymore. Or maybe I am now pickier about who I choose to befriend.
In a way, this situation served as a reminder to me that despite my best intentions of wanting my kids to socialize, I shouldn’t also at the same time be too forceful of them being friends. I shouldn’t impose forceful relationships on my children as well. I can make the introduction but I should allow them the freedom and space to choose their own circle of friends and confidantes.