I was reading an interesting post tonight. It resonated because I’d felt the same way many times before. I started to write a comment, but decided to make it a stand-alone post instead….
My girls are 13, 15, and 18. And it doesn’t get better when their friends abandon them.
All those hard times we had growing up, the kids that let us down, the ones that told our Big Secret to everyone, the groups that banished us because we weren’t cool enough, the equally young partners that abandoned us for the promise of someone else (that immediately failed) … we re-live some of our dark times through our growing kids.
We also re-live with adult eyes their successes, their joys, their pride in achievement, their moments of unadulterated happiness! For example, my youngest, Charlotte, came home today with some good news about her quarterly performance. Her sparkling eyes made every problem I’ve got disappear as I reflected in her joie de vivre. Time stood still as she danced around the kitchen. I will never ever forget how Brigitte’s face lit up with delight when she had her 15 seconds of fame by being featured on the local news in advance of a snowstorm. These are my special memories, the ones I will treasure as I get old and frail.
I remain ever amazed at how some kids have very stable friendships but many shift alliances with the tide, drifting back and forth among a core group. Sometimes a pair of girls stay friends all the way through school, more often they shuffle themselves around constantly, with the ‘rougher’ kids getting edged out over time. The central group seems to become stronger and nicer and more ‘acceptable.’ I enjoy seeing the parties where they all come together, the chance meetings in shopping malls or on walks where they beam ear-to-ear and chat like they had 25 years of gossip to catch up on.
Eventually I realized I’m only skimming the surface, seeing the ducks on the water. Beyond what I can see, under the water, Facebook and texting and e-mails and online chats are reworking bonds and alliances, and I remember how pathetically simple life was back when I was a kid. (And how dating was much simpler too. Oh…darn.)