Recently a new piece of outdoor furniture arrived at my sons school.
It’s a bright purple bench seat with a plaque on it that says “Friendship Seat”.
It’s an initiative of the Alannah and Madeline Foundation.
It’s a place for kids to sit when they need a friend.
A way of asking for help to fit in and be included.
It’s an easy way for a child to say I’m lonely and not having any fun today.
Which of course got me thinking…
Do I need a friendship seat?
What would happen if I sat on one?
Would I be like the free hugs people and end up on Oprah?
Or would people avert their gaze and walk on by.
Are adults allowed to say “Hey! Look at me. I’m surrounded by people but I don’t have anyone to play with”?
Can I stand on the friendship seat, waving my arms and shout “Pick me” without looking desperate and needy?
No. Probably not.
But I’ve realised that sometimes I do need to tell my friends that I’m lonely and that I need someone to drink espressos with.
I need my friends to listen to my crazy stories and talk me down from my invisible ledges of insanity.
I want to be heard and thought about and messaged at odd hours of the day and feel the zing of someone else taking time to reach out to me.
And I’m so lucky because I do have all these things.
Friendships can be hard work though. And sometimes I need to just sit on the friendship seat and wait for others to join me.
Or maybe I need to be proactive and take a stroll past someone else’s friendship seat and let them know that I care about them.