How good are your kids at cultivating friendships?
And how much do you encourage them to do so?
I’m hoping my kids have learned from their father. He is still friends with the guys who were his best friends in high school. And he’s maintained those friendships despite the fact that he’s more than 35 years past that graduation date, hasn’t lived in the community where he grew up for nearly the same amount of time, and has made other friends since then — at the colleges where he earned his degrees, at his various jobs and in the towns where we’ve lived.
These guys are still the group that he turns to and most wants to spend his time with — at least when it’s possible. Even though several of them are still in the area where they all grew up, which is several hours away from us by car, the rest are scattered over the country.
Lucky for me, some of his friends have become my friends — and by osmosis, those friends’ wives. We’ve shared some family milestones and through the years have visited when possible, usually with the kids in tow. They’re trips I’ve always looked forward to.
I can’t say whether this group of guys is unusual. But I admire them. Despite the fact that I had very close friends who meant a lot to me, I was not so good at staying in touch after high school, college, marriage and then moving progressively farther away from where I grew up.
So I hope our kids emulate their dad on this one.
Recently we went back to his hometown to a college graduation party for the sons of one of his lifelong friends. At the end of the evening, that friend compared his boys and their friends to himself, my husband and their group of buddies. His boys, he said, have cultivated the same type of close-knit friendships that will last a lifetime.
What a great gift to have passed along. I hope the same for my kids.