This all started a couple weeks ago. My not quite four year old was throwing a temper tantrum in the car. She’d refused to get dressed that morning, so she was going to daycare in an outfit that wasn’t her style. When I didn’t cave to her demands, she shouted what I’m sure was the biggest insult she could muster, “Mommy, you’re not my best friend!”
I thought about this for a minute and just responded with an – “Okay, honey. That’s fine.” I didn’t explain to her then because she wasn’t calm and listening, but I’m perfectly okay with not being her best friend. In fact, I’m not *supposed* to be her best friend.
I love going on “best friend” adventures with my daughter: trips to the nail salon, playing dolls, ice cream dates, movie nights in our pajamas… I wouldn’t give those things up for the world. But my role is SO much more than a best friend.
My job is to teach her right and wrong. To show her how to be a good friend. To make sure she’s at church on Sunday mornings. To force her to eat her vegetables. To kiss her boo boos. To save her from monsters in her closet. To read her bedtime stories. To sometimes enforce rules just “because I said so.” To cheer from the front row at her first softball game…and at her last.
Someday, my job will also be to help her choose her *real* best friends. To help her differentiate which friends are fake and no good from those that will end up being life long friends. To buy her a gallon of cookies and cream ice cream when her first boyfriend breaks up with her.
Those life long best friends may get to stand beside her someday as she exchanges vows with her husband. They may get to snuggle her babies when the time comes. Or go away on a girls’ weekend with her. But they’ll never get the extreme honor of rocking her to sleep or get to experience the way my heart jumps when she whispers “I love you, Mommy.”
So no, I’m not her best friend. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.