I’m thinking about friendship today. Having recently attended my 35th high school reunion (I graduated at the age of 6) I’m pondering the nature of friendship over time. I read recently that “lifetime relationships teach us lifetime lessons.” If that is true what have I learned from those high school days?
Well in my case, as an army-brat with out any family in the area I live now, it is nice to be with people who remember my face from age 9. It was heartwarming that someone could pick me out of a class photo from 1967. Knowing people with whom I share a timeline of memories is important. While many of them still reside within 25 miles of our hometown all of us have a shared recollection of a time and place more rural and simple than the present.
When graduation came and we all went our many ways some friendships continued long distance into the new lives we made in college or work. Others became part of our memories. The friends I made in college, as a young wife and mother, as a working woman, are deep and important. But I think that those relationships were colored by those high school days. Did I want to be as “nice” as I was in high school. “nicer?” Self- confident, more so? Will I grow up or only away from my past.
Each stage of our lives holds new faces and potentially new friendships. My children will leave high school with memories of friends from pre-school through 12th grade. I hope they will create new friendships that are rich and varied throughout their lives. But will these years-long relationships be building blocks for them? Will they Take the good and develop their future friendships. Will they thoughtfully remember their own hurt feeling or hurtful actions and try to treat others better. Perhaps that is the true “test” of high school, I’m just say’n.