by Becka Burke
June 12, 2019
I take my two daughters, ages eight and nine, to a dance recital for a local dance studio. We see lots of familiar faces. We see people from school, some in our grades, others not. We see their parents, grandparents and squirmy little brothers. We give hugs and hellos, exchange we’re-so-glad-it’s-summer sighs of relief.
Eventually, if not right away, we are asked, “Wait, do your girls dance at this studio?” And I hear the silent questions, “Why haven’t I seen you?” or “Why are we not carpooling?” We reply that we’re just here to watch. We are here to cheer on our friends. They are almost dumbfounded that I would want to sit through a three-hour-plus dance recital for children whom I did not birth. I eagerly say, “We do!” We want to sit and watch and cheer and clap.
On the way home, I say to my daughters, “Girls, this is what it means to be a good girlfriend.” We have so many amazing examples of friendship in Scripture. David and Jonathan are my favorite. First Samuel 18 describes their closeness as souls knit together and loving the other as “his own soul.” What a beautiful image.
So I say to my girls, what do we do? We SHOW UP. We hoot and holler. We bring flowers. We get dressed up and take pictures. We get nothing out of this. This is not about attention being on us or getting a pat on the back for coming—this is about being a good friend. We talk about why we enjoy seeing these girls “do their thing.” It is because of all the hours they have spent, not in a dance studio, but rather on the playground or in a classroom or in a swimming pool. This is about our souls being knit together.
I was wrong earlier when I said “We get nothing out of this.” On the contrary, we get so much from this. These are the building blocks of friendships that are especially important in these formative years but really at any age. I hope my girls remember these times and continue to show up proudly for their friends. May this be a reminder to cheer for your girlfriend, stay the path with them, encourage them.
Becka has two girls and a boy in elementary school. She is passionate about friendships, the enneagram and craft coffee.
Becka,! I love the work you are doing to pave the way for your girls to be great friends! I just read an article about how future generations (Milliennials and younger) are disadvantaged in relationships because they are used to turning to their phones or social media to help them through tough times instead of turning to friends. Friendship has more of a value than I think we even realize and anything we can do to give them skills in this area is huge.