Friday, May 27, 2011

Graduation Day & Friends

So it's Graduation Day here in Flyover Country.  We went to a Middle School Graduation this morning, and will attend the High School Graduation this afternoon.  Living in an "ultra-small town" like we do, we've come to know most of the kids who are graduating, so helping them mark a "life achievement" is pretty cool; especially the middle school class. 

Made me think, though.  There are 36 kids in this class.  The majority of them have been together since kindergarten, or before; and most of them will graduate from High School together in 2015.  It's something that my little military-brat-heart doesn't really comprehend.  Between First grade and High School Graduation, I went to seven different schools, most of them in different states.  I had to make new friends and find new activities at each new school.  Moving into a new school was both exciting and scary.  You could be whomever and whatever you wanted to be in a new school.  It's different for these kids.  These kids know each other.  They know who wet their pants in kindergarten and cried for their moms in First grade.  They know who got in trouble shooting the spitballs at the teacher in Fourth grade.  They know who kissed whom first.    Having someone who knows me (and the history of my foibles) that well would terrify me.   Maybe that's why I have some difficulties letting people get close to me.

My kids are also military-brats.  They've each had to move at critical stages in their lives.  I tried, as much as I could, to minimize the impact that moving could cause; but you can't eliminate it.  It's just not possible.  But I look at my kids and their ability to bond with friends and I'm envious.  My eldest collects friends.  She has a very eclectic collection of good friends from all over the world.  I admire her for that ability at the same time that I wonder how she does it.  My middle child and my son have firm-fast-friends from High School; and have newer, but still close, friends that they've made as a young adults.  Although I'm still in touch with some friends from High School, as well as friends from my active-duty days, it's mainly the at-arm's-length-social-media-contacts that seem to happen these days.  

I don't know.  Maybe my kids have the ability to keep friends close because, unlike my generation, they can  send emails and text messages. They're able to stay in touch, no matter how far away they move.   But then again, maybe it's just the difference in our experiences and our personalities.  What I do know, is that here in Flyover Country, I'm making friends I intend to let into my life and keep matter who wet their pants in Kindergarten or who put fake dog poop in the teacher's chair.  I've discovered that good friends are worth the risk. 

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