Even in pre-school, women travel in packs.There are 14 kids in Alaina’s class, but there are three other girls in particular that she calls her “best friends.” Her teachers go so far as to call them a “clique”. Somewhat to my relief, the other girl’s moms say their kids talk about Alaina as much as she does about them. At least one of these girls will be moving on to kindergarten next year, but I hope it works out that the others get to stay together.
I grew up in a very small town where I spent nursery school to eighth grade with the same few dozen classmates. It made the transition to a larger, out of town high school harder, but created very strong bonds between us “Salem Kids.” I’ve had many people come and go from my life over the years, but my closest friends remain those I made in those small classrooms years ago. Even in the pre-Facebook years we all made efforts to keep in touch. When someone moved away, we visited. We were best-men and groomsmen in each others weddings, sometimes multiple times.
I understand this is a “small town” phenomenon, impossible to duplicate where we live now. Salem is no longer the small town it was in those days either, boasting its own rotary now in addition to several traffic lights.
I find this unfortunate. Kayla seems to have no trouble making friends, but I’m not sure she’s found anybody yet that will have that kind of longevity.
This is important to me, because as fantastic as my parents were, my friends and their parents deserve almost equal credit ( or blame ) for the person I ultimately became.
My boys and I raised a fair amount of hell in our day, but as much as we pushed each other to further levels of stupidity, we were also always there to reign each other in if somebody was heading towards “really stupid” territory. (thanks again btw.) My friends were good people and their parents were good people. We grew up to be good people.
So we try to keep an eye on Kayla’s friends, cringing inside as we hear stories of drug use and pregnancy. We try to subtly nudge her towards those friends we feel might be better influences, conscious of the fact that we have no idea whatsoever. We stubbornly think that we can make a difference, knowing that in the end we can do nothing but cross our fingers and trust her judgement.
Mind your manners and stay out of trouble, Alaina’s pre-k posse. I’m watching you..