February is coming to a close, the long road to spring becoming shorter by the day. This also means the end of “National Friendship Month.” I’m not sure what this means, or why we need a month devoted to the concept, but I also seem to remember September being a “month of friendship.” I do know that July 30th has been declared “International Friendship Day” by the United Nations, but not how I know that. I’m pretty sure that “Make a New Friend Day” was last month, but to be honest, it all gets a little confusing.
The four year old doesn’t have full calendar comprehension yet, but to her every day is “Make a Friend Day.” It doesn’t matter to her if you are the new kid in class, somebody she’s never seen before at the playground, or the UPS man. If you are nice to her that makes you friends, and once that happens it doesn’t matter how much time passes until you meet again, you remain friends.
Is this just the innocence of childhood? The fact that nobody has yet to disappoint her or be anything but nice in return? When do we lose this thought process?
She does have some friends that she likes more than others, girls from last year’s class and some boys from this year.
I hope that some of these friends stick. My wife’s best friend is somebody that she has known since that age, as are many of mine. They are the people you can go years without seeing, then act like it was no times at all. They are also the ones not afraid to call you out if you are being an asshole, something that we can all use every once in a while.
It’s no coincidence that it’s the girl that the teenager has been friends with the longest that has been the one quickest to express her disappointment at her recent actions. It’s also no coincidence that she remains our favorite one of her friends.
I’ve mentioned before the small town that I grew up in and how we all inexplicably still try and remain in touch. One of those guys recently posted an old picture on Facebook of himself and one of our best friends that had passed, almost exactly twenty two years ago. Along with all the memories shared in the comments were these words: “Salem seems to have had an unusually high concentration of excellent people. We are fortunate to have grown up together there.”
A few weeks ago I was able to get together with a few of these friends that now live out of state, and It was a sentiment brought up often. One of them is a new father to a one year old, the other has a sixteen year old son. We may be at different times in our parenting lives, but our one commonality is that we all hope for our children to find friends like that.