I love the friendship I have with my next door neighbor. We’ve both been living in this neighborhood for nearly two years. I still remember being upstairs in my own house and looking out the window to see her with her family, checking out the house they’re now in with a realtor. Once they moved in, we were thrilled to discover that her two girls are close in age to my son, and her toddler son is just a few months younger than my daughter. The kids love playing together inside and outside, riding bikes, building forts, for hours at a time.
My neighbor and I do not build forts or ride bikes together, but we do occasionally walk after the kids are asleep and both our husbands are home. We chat in one or the other’s driveway while the kids ride and play. A fun part of our friendship, made possible by modern technology, is shooting texts at each other throughout the week. Sometimes it’s just a “hey, how’s it going today?”, sometimes it’s to tell a story about a sick child, a naptime gone awry, a strange animal out back, a good sale at a favorite store, or weekend plans. Anything goes, and I like that. We are able to encourage each other quickly during challenging parenting days (we are both stay-at-home moms) or coordinate spur of the moment bike riding out in the cul-de-sac.
A few evenings ago, as my family and I were clearing the table from dinner and getting ready to get the kids ready for bed, I got a text from my neighbor: “Check out the rainbow!!…It’s a nice one.” We put the dishes down and looked out into the back yard from our porch. Sure enough, there was a huge, beautiful arc of colors soaring across the clouds.
Later that night, I was still thinking about the rainbow and her text to tell me about it. First, it made me especially glad for this friendship: friends share happy news with each other. Friends rejoice with each other. Friends look for ways to cheer each other up. Second, rainbows just don’t get boring to see! Of course I’ve seen them before, and I’ll probably see one again, maybe even this week, but there’s something about the enormity, beauty, and hope that those colors have, that make me want to stop whatever I’m doing and just look.
Then, I kept thinking. What good things am I sharing with my friends? What can I tell them or show them that might bring joy into their lives? Am I keeping my happiness to myself or am I “letting my light shine”? Perhaps I overcomplicate things, and wonder how I can share big ideas or major thoughts with friends, when really it’s quite simple: “Check out the rainbow.” In other words, when something is good, let it speak for itself. Chances are, a friend will agree and be thankful someone thought of sharing it! I’m pretty sure my friend didn’t think as much about her text to me as I ended up doing–it’s funny how sometimes the little things end up being not so little, and that makes me even more grateful for friendships like that.