Big Girl Intimacy

“Can we talk about the incident?” she asks, and I make sure I have something in my hands to fiddle with before I answer softly.

“Sure.”

I knew we’d have to talk it out eventually, but the confrontation-avoidant girl inside of me whispered that I could ignore the problem and it would just evaporate in the heat of other-things-to-do. And she’s probably right. Except true friendship is forged from stronger courage than that. Little girls have little intimacy; big girls have to step up and build big intimacy.

So we talk about it. And we both try to be careful, to be listeners, to soften the edges of our words.

“You said you’d be there. You leave me in the middle of conversations, only for him. It happens a lot.” And I can hear her disappointment entwine with her hope that I’ll show up the next time.

“He was bleeding, and I wanted to help. I was trying to be attentive to both of you. I was coming right back.” I can hear how much they sound like excuses, despite their truth in my story.

And I’m still little-girl nervous — fidgeting hands, shifting foot-to-foot, eyes on the worn wood plank floor. We press on, and I’m grateful when the wind of reconciliation blows quietly through the kitchen. We check in to make sure we’ve both survived the battle.

We have. All words in tact; all limbs intact. And I put the thing down and make eye contact. And she puts a hand on my shoulder to squeeze.

We meet in the same messy kitchen a few nights later, the smell of popcorn drawing us together. And we chat late into the night, hurt feelings forgotten, laughter returned. And we lick the buttery yeast off our fingers as easily as we open our boxes of secrets. And now, we are known just a little bit better, loved just a little bit deeper.

And a little girl is so quietly grateful for big-girl friendship.

I’m sharing this story with precious friends at:

Have you ever had to heal an injured friendship but found the conversation more difficult than you expected? Is it easy or hard for you to say you’re sorry? Is it easy or hard for you to forgive when you’ve been wounded?

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10 Comments

Filed under Musings

10 responses to “Big Girl Intimacy

  1. Wow… This is an amazing skill. That kind of reconciliation is very rare indeed. I have a few memories of such moments but many more memories of conflict-gone-sour. What a great gift of friendship.

  2. Brave isn’t always big like battling a fire. Sometimes brave is risking facing the small wedges that can crack relationships apart and being willing to say will you forgive me or I forgive you. Sometimes the sometimes litte brave is big. So glad you both made it through a bit braver.

  3. pathoftreasure

    So often these steps aren’t taken, even though it can be difficult. We all want to be known a little better, loved a bit deeper. Lovely, friend.

  4. hard and beautiful and so very True. great writing.

  5. Bristol, the writing is poignant – and live – and picturesque. I heart it! from the little girl with little problems – to big girl with big problems – little girl with little intimacies – big girl with big ones – it’s poetic. it’s a great story. I’m glad I got a chance to read it. God bless you Bristol!

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