Remember those people who helped to make you who you are today? I’m not talking about family members, teachers, pastors/priests, former bosses, etc (though they certainly helped shape you, too). I’m talking about the friends who watched you go through every agonizing stage of adolescence – braces, bad glasses, worse hairdos, and (if you’re from the 80s, like me) hideous fashion statements like flipped up collars and safety-pinned pants. And they remained your friends anyhow.
People who did wacky stuff like this with you:
(That’s tinfoil on our heads to wrap up the henna stuff we put in our hair… the dog was curious so he got sucked into the picture, too. Tinfoil and all.)
And, even though applying henna to your friend’s hair may have turned it green for an interminable several minutes, she remained friends with you.
These are the people who saw you through horrifying prom dresses, boyfriends (and break-ups), listened to you crying on the phone from college when you were homesick (even though they were at another college and equally as homesick) and with whom you took your first drinks of alcohol (and maybe a few after that).
Then college was over and you had to get jobs. You moved this way and they moved that way. Then you were in their weddings and they were in yours. You moved further apart. But you still got together several times a year.
Then they had babies and you had babies. Or maybe they got jobs that took them even further away. You got together once a year.
Then the babies started getting older and your life became completely, solely all about their lives, their activities. You and your friends? Christmas cards became the primary form of communication.
Remember those people? Go look them up – Right Now. Set a date. Get together. You will wonder why you didn’t do it earlier. Their kids and your kids will become fast friends (maybe even frog hunting friends – see below) in a matter of hours. Watching these new friendships grow will make you feel as great as renewing your old friendships.
This is all to say that I had a fantastic camping gathering last weekend of a group of friends – some of whom I’ve known almost my entire life. But none of whom I had seen for several years. There were about thirty of us altogether – adults and kids. We are going to make it an annual gathering. It is absolutely amazing to me that, no matter how long it’s been since we’ve seen each other or how far apart all our lives have drifted, when we get together it’s like we’ve never been apart. It’s like the best kind of family in the world – one you choose. We grew up together. I hope we’ll all grow old together.