Ebbs and Flows of Relationships

I've been doing a bit of reflecting today on relationships and time. There's this little girl I used to know, babysat her when she was two (24 years ago) . . . yesterday she became the mother of twins. Her parents and I were very close at one time and I thoroughly enjoyed being a part of their family. But life ebbs and flows and we've gone down separate paths. We live in the same town and have lots of mutual friends and acquaintances, so every once in a while our paths will briefly intersect, but never for too long.

I grew up moving a lot. I went to 12 schools in 13 years. I never grew up with the best friend I'd known since grade school, the closest I came was coming back over and over to one town and starting school again - so I'd usually have someone around that I had known before.

One consequence of that is never learning how to go with the ebbs and flows in relationships. When it happened to me as an adult, I at first took it as a failure on my part. I must have done something wrong, or was "lacking". Time, experience, and new relationships have taught me that it isn't a failure on either party's side when relationships ebb and flow. During the 24 years I've lived in this community I've seen many relationships ebb and flow with time. Circumstances, places in life, children, priorities, everything can affect them. And it's okay.

The little girl grew up, went off to college, found love, got married (I was invited to the wedding), and now has given birth. We used to be Facebook friends, but I think I got purged. It's okay, we've both got plenty of friends. I've done some Facebook purging of my own at times. I'm glad to have discovered that I can be happy for her and her family with no regret or hard feelings that I'm not at her side. It's enough to know she's happy.

Life is full. My oldest is preparing for college in another year, my second is getting ready for high school, and my youngest will be in middle school in another year. I'm sorry for all the relationships I have neglected or let fall by the wayside as my life filled up. Hopefully they understand the ebbs and flows of life and relationships too. And who knows what tomorrow will bring?

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