For example-we were visiting one of my college roommates and her kids the other day. Abby has met two-year old Noah before, but it has been awhile (thanks to our children consistently being sick when we try and make plans). It did not matter. By the end of the short play date, they were hugging and smiling together for pictures. Not only did they bond that day, but Abby introduced herself to a girl we did not know at the park and was asking for me to take their pictures together.
Her friendliness has come in handy in our neighborhood. I do not know if I would have gotten to know some of our neighbors if it were not for Abby. Sometimes I enjoy the safety of being behind a locked door, enjoying my own privacy. But, thanks to my daughter, we now can count people on our street as friends and not just acquaintances. Kids come knocking on our door, asking to play with Abby, which she just loves.
(I must take a moment here and say that we pray for a little boy around Caleb's age to move here soon-the poor child has to play with girls every day. Not that he minds-he just picks on them in typical little brother fashion.)
Perhaps I should be learning from Abby's example. This girl holds no predetermined ideas of who someone might be-she just sees someone her age to befriend. She does not wonder if the relationship will end in hurt or tears, but only thinks of the joys of that day together.
The older I get, the more skeptical I have become about people. Not that I am any better than them-I know how bad of a friend I can be. I think the hurt of betrayal or of being forgotten has scarred my heart into not believing anyone would really want to be my friend. It is much more simpler to stick with my already existing friends (even though so many of them live in other states) than to really put myself out there and make new friends.
I am so thankful for the people that have recently come into our lives (mostly because of Abby and her playdates, but also because Nick and I can actually talk to others without scaring them off right away!). As easy as it is to stay in one's bubble of life, imagine how boring it would be to not meet new people!