i paint i write

Live boldly, laugh and make art

Will you be my friend?

Will you be my friend?

 

Friendship,” said Christopher Robin, “is a very comforting thing to have.”
― A.A. Milne

The girl is four years old.  Her hair is curly and she has bangs. She held a pink Teddy Bear and sat on the floor with eight other  children  and listened to the teacher talk about dinosaurs.

She moved over and sat beside another girl who is four and has long brown hair tied back in two ponytails.

She said, ” Will you be my friend?”

“Sure.”

Then they sat together and listened to the teacher.

The woman is 54. Her hair is brown with gray at the temples and it’s pulled back in a long braid. In her hand is a cell phone . She wished she was holding a pink teddy bear. She wanted to ask another woman, “Will you be my friend?”

But she didn’t.

She said, “Is this seat taken?”

Then she sat down and checked the messages on her phone.

We hold our cell phones and purses instead of teddy bears.  Sometimes we carry a book to read or an ipad with a dead battery. We protect ourselves because we don’ t want someone to say no.

We may sit down beside another woman and ask, “How are you?”

And they  may answer, “Fine,” because they think we really don’t want to  know that they are struggling with being a stay-at-home-mom, and they yelled at their kids because they didn’t want to be late, and the toilet bowl is stained from the hard water and the dog barfed on the carpet just as they were leaving.”

We really want to ask, “Will you be my friend?”

But we don’t ask, we talk about the weather and did you see the new iphone, and what do you think of Obamacare and where did you buy your shoes?

The woman who is 54 thought the girl who is 4 was very brave. The next time the woman goes out she will put down her phone and hold a pink teddy bear, and she will ask, “Will you be my friend?”

Maybe we should all carry teddy bears. Maybe the teddy bears will give us the confidence to find a friend. A friend that we can have forever. And if we don’t? We will still have our teddy bear to hold.

We’ll be Friends Forever, won’t we, Pooh?’ asked Piglet.
Even longer,’ Pooh answered.” ― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

How are you today? I really want to know. I am listening. Will you be my friend?

Please tell me in the comments. I would love to chat.

 

About Pamela Hodges

My name is Pamela Hodges. I am a writer and an artist. I write to encourage and to bring laughter. I paint cats, draw cartoons and write books for children and grown ups.

You are an artist. Yes, you are. Really.

Feature Box

Get the FREE illustrated, sort of a comic book, “You Are An Artist.” Believe in yourself and your ability to draw. xo Pamela

  • Nancy Baird

    In my busyness, I didn’t get to read this post until you mentioned it to me. Thank you. I cherish that 4 year old with curly brown hair and bangs. She would & I both would love to be your friend 🙂 Though I think we already are with or without the teddy bear. Thank you for being so real….just the way that God made you to be!

  • Pamela Hand

    I would love to lend you that cookbook. I will have to think about the level to friendship thing. I still think there are levels. I came from a back-round where the people I was to trust the most, were not safe. There are quite a few toxic people out there. Levels come to my mind as I think about toxic relationships. I don’t think you are one of those persons though. I don’t think I am either.

  • Pamela Hand

    I think, if we are honest with ourselves and others, we would see that there are levels to friendships. We should dive in to friendship more, some caution is advised. We could learn a lot from other cultures. I have a cookbook that shares about the natural ways people in other country make friends. We have lost that in our hurried, materialistic American lives.

    • Hello Pamela,

      Before you mentioned friendship as levels, I seriously never thought of it.
      How would you label the levels Pamela?
      You are either my friend or not my friend. No levels. I try to only exercise caution in crossing the street and meeting tigers.
      Your cookbook sounds really interesting. I would love to look at it.
      All the best,
      Your friend,
      Pamela

      • La McCoy

        I do agree with levels.

  • jane williams

    I didn’t know how to make friends (and didn’t know that I didn’t know) until just a few short years ago… how crazy is that?! But I DO know that honesty and bravery and teddy bears can start it all off pretty nicely. 🙂 Thanks for all 3, new friend.

    • Hello my dear new friend,
      How did you discover you didn’t know how to make friends? I found out the same thing a few years ago too. After asking people for years to help them weed their gardens, I realized that is not the normal way to connect. Next week, I may put a teddy bear in my purse when I go out. Will we be braver if we have a teddy bear with us?
      Oh, and you are welcome for all 3.

      • jane williams

        NOT having friends (beyond “hi, how are you”) was my first clue! Ha!… and after that I got a couple of very social office mates that mercifully befriended me and I watched intently. Turns out they gave lots of gifts 🙂 asked lots of questions, learned to like coffee no matter when and lunch works too ….. 🙂 But, I know from experience that being an introvert just makes it harder; period… so I just stalk other writers online and I’m good to go! Hahahahahaha. Seriously, though, Jesus has just helped me see myself more like the way HE sees me… and turns out He LIKES to be my friend. It’s slowly sinking in, and making it a heckuvalot easier to not be so self-absorbed (which turns out is great for making friends! ) 🙂

  • Winnie Moyer

    I will be your friend!! I have a teddy bear, I love him! I remember growing up talking to my teddy bears before bed time.

    • Hello Winnie,
      Did you take your teddy bear to China? What is your teddy bear’s name? Do you want a new teddy bear for Christmas? Maybe a red one?

      • Winnie Moyer

        I didn’t take my teddy bear to China (but I did bring a small giraffe that goes every where I go) my teddy bears stay at my parents house. I had a teddy bear waiting in my room when I got to China, he is very big, and I love him, I fondly call him Teddy 🙂 I would love a new teddy bear, I like purple. What is your favorite color?

        • Winnie Moyer

          and we are already friends right? I consider you my friend, I hope you consider me a friend? 🙂

          • Yes, Winnie you are my friend. Forever and ever. My favorite color is orange. I use to hate it. Why couldn’t red and yellow just stay away from each other. I like to wear brown, but the color orange makes me smile.

  • I’m great and you? You are my friend and I’m yours. Like Ann said we skipped level one but who’s counting. I love my online and offline friends. Some even look like pink teddy bears 😉

    • Hello Patricia,
      So glad to hear you are doing well. Did the big storm eventually stop? The ocean in the photograph you shared looked very wild.
      I am very happy today, having a friend across the world helps.
      Thank you for being my friend. Yes, we skipped level one. I want to be a brown teddy bear friend. Or maybe a blue one to match your hair.

  • Jennifer Higney

    Hello Pamela! I feel like I am already your friend! I love your stories, and this is just another great one! Thank you for sharing 🙂

    • Hello Jennifer,
      Yes, we are friends, we just haven’t had coffee together yet. Except I decided today to not drink coffee anymore, so maybe we can drink hot water together.

      • Jennifer Higney

        A cup of hot water would be just lovely 🙂

  • Hello Pamela,

    I am fine today. And I believe we are friends, we might have skipped level one though.

    • Hello Anne,
      Thank you for telling me how you are doing. Yes, we skipped level one. We are in the deep levels now where we tell each other all our stuff and trust the other guy with our secrets.

  • Michelle Crooker

    I am glad that you are my friend – and if you weren’t I would hope that I meet you so that we could be friends then!

    • Yes, me too Michelle. I would want to meet you if I had never met you. But then I wouldn’t even know you to know I missed you.

  • Maybe you can find a small Teddy bear pin to wear. Thanks for being my friend.

  • La McCoy

    I am going to go get my Teddy Bear!

    • What is your Teddy Bear’s name?

      • La McCoy

        I did not know until I ask him. My son brought him to live with me some years ago. He holds a picture of my son. His name is Baby Bear. His mother named him.

  • Wow, wow, wow…I face this with every move that we make in this life we choose. I bring brownies or jam when I introduce myself(when I can) because I hope that an offering will ease the transition from unknown to friend. This was just so great. Oh, to have the courage of a four year old!!

    • Hello Jhona,
      Yes, to have the courage of a four year old. I offer to help weed when I meet someone new. We have moved so many times, I sometimes forget how to meet people.
      “Hello, my name is Pamela. Would you like me to come over and help you weed your flower beds?”
      Jam and brownies sounds more friendly.

  • Pamela Hand

    Yes, Pamela, I want to be your friend. Level One. You did know that there are different levels of friendship. They are built. I think friendship, if made to look like art, would, at full maturity, look like a bridge.

    • I love this!!

    • Pamela, I would like to be your friend. I never thought about the different levels of friendship. It does take time to build trust.

  • Robn Patrick

    I think this such incredible writing. I had never connected what we hold as adults for our security with children and their security teddy. It reminds me of the scriptures in Matthew where Jesus said we need to humble ourselves to become like children. If you are blessed as a child to be allowed to state your needs you’ve been given a gift. As an adult it takes humbleness to state our needs. It’s supposed to be a sign of weakness for grown ups. I think we should discerning but allow ourselves to be honest. Not only with people we can trust, but also with God who already knows us!
    I will be your friend. I even have a teddy that I would share with you. Her name is Phoebe and she would like you too.

    • Hello Robin,
      I would love to be your friend. Please say hello to Phoebe for me. Would she like a pen-pal?
      Sending you hugs to California.

  • Love this. And yes, I am your friend. Have a blessed and wonderful weekend!

    • Hello Joan, my friend. I have you have a blessed and wonderful weekend too.