My son and his friends, aka “the brotherhood,” are taking off for college now. Dispersing far and near, but definitely moving into a new phase of life. This anticipated departure has been the topic of many a conversation with a wide range of emotions involved. I often find myself overwhelmed by the passage of time; of its increasing speed and value.
I was always the mom who enjoyed feeding large packs of boys as I listened to the funny conversations about sports, girls and each other. I became friends with some of their parents over the years, but was always better friends with the boys themselves. Now, young men, I treasure the gift of the friendships of young vital people even more.
The same is true with my other kids. Whenever possible, I often offered our big kid-friendly home to all their friends. The one caveat was the friendships had to include everyone present, so they eventually grew to include the whole family. Recently, my husband went backpacking with our oldest son and his friend, his dad, and another old friend. The experience was revelatory for all of them. Tonight, at the farewell supper I could still feel them glowing about it.
The truth is that being friends with your kids friends keeps you current. Knowing them authentically and as much as possible without judgment, bridges the generation gap. The advice that I can’t help from giving, what I think as my best words of wisdom will sometimes come through because of our friendship. For example, tonight when my husband waved them off and said “Keep your head clear. It will be worth it…” I think they heard it anyway.
I got it anyway, sharing the friends in our lives does really clear your head and it is always worth it.