Monday, October 09, 2006

Keep the old

We went to New Jersey to stay with a college friend of mine. We also spent part of Saturday with a friend of the boys who moved to Princeton with his family. It was a contrast of friendships.

Adults who have been friends for a long time have the benefit of shared history they can remember together (most of the time). One of my earliest visions of this friend is her dancing into my dorm room singing to Toni Childs' Walk and Talk Like Angels. We've visited each other in the various towns and cities where we were living (I would only go to Cleveland to be with her). There is an ease to our friendship that forgives those forgotten birthdays, weeks without talking and brief conversations that end with an abrupt "I'm grumpy now" or "gotta go, kids killing each other". We trust that the other will be there.

Six-year-olds don't have that trust. The boys have been friends with this other 6-year-old since they were all 13-months-old. But they can't exactly sit around recalling those great times spitting up their lunches, learning to walk or how to pronounce "tomorrow". They are really just getting the concept now of a future life. And with that concept comes the realization that their daily interaction as friends is over. What basis do they have to believe they'll stay friends?

So I watched them get reacquainted. At first I was shocked to watch their friend go play with someone else at the playground, someone he just met. My guys were completely content to play with each other and their little sister. I thought their friend had given up on them. Then back at the house it was like old times. We went apple picking and drove him in our van. The singing and dancing to Country Roads was supplemented with my friend laughing at the volume in the van.

1 comment:

Allison's brother (Mark) said...

Glad to hear you had a nice visit in NJ.