As I walked home from a sweet coffee break I began to look around at all the people walking around the neighborhood. They were all going in different directions and each had a group. I felt like I was invisible and just floating through each group conversation. No matter where I turned I saw a clique. Each had their own personality, dress, and language. There were even those that fell behind in a group with a sadness on their face just trying to catch up. Whatever the clique, it caused me to go back and reflect on my younger years and then frantically to now as I thought of my children and where their journey would take them. I prayed at that moment that Gio and Isa would be themselves no matter the clique. That they would be kind not only to the person they are but to others. That they respect themselves and those around them and no matter what others say that they will be strong in their own opinion. My mind came back to the present and I picked up more conversations within cliques that I floated around and heard laughter towards a group of girls just trying to fit in. I saw discomfort and concern on the face of one of the girls that was pretending to agree. She seemed bothered by what the rest of the group was saying but yet she said nothing. I looked at her and tried to force a soft smile as to tell her what she feels is ok and she should voice her opinion. Instead she turned away and pretended to laugh at the horrible jokes the group was saying.

I felt my mood change slightly and a heavy weight fell upon my shoulders. I slowly made my way home but not before that same girl grabbed my wrist and said, “I know you heard what we were saying but know that I told my friends that we should stop making fun of people we didn’t know.” She said that this is why I’m here and no longer there. She continued by saying, “I guess standing up for what you believe doesn’t always keep your friends.” I told her when you stand up for what you believe, your friends are the one’s standing right along with you for support. If they aren’t there they were never your friends to begin with. That doesn’t mean you can’t disagree and have difference of opinions, it just means that your true friend will always support you or catch you when you fall. She actually said, thank you and ran to catch the train. I felt the heaviness on my shoulders lift and carry away. I stopped for a moment to take in what just happened and then giggled to myself. I guess it was my way of releasing all the emotions I felt when she grabbed my wrist. I definitely could of turned swinging from the wrist grab but there was something calming that kept me grounded. I began walking home smiling the entire way.

When I got home, I opened the front door to find Gio and Isa matching the smile on my face. What a way to walk in a home. May the smiles that surround us creep into your home and heart. Happy Friday! 

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