Wednesday, November 16, 2011

F is for Friendship

Children are little mysteries in many ways. In the way they learn, navigate their day, and interact with the people around them. Their relationships with their parents, with me, other adults and mostly with each other is interesting to watch.
This year I've really enjoyed watching the friendships grow.

I have children in my class who were already friends because they went to preschool together. I have the twins who are the best of friends. There are a few who have found it easy to make friends because they have something in common; maybe siblings together in another grade, or maybe because the live in the same apartment building and have seen each other in the elevator.

But friendship is a funny thing. Two kids can meet on a beach, on a playground or at the park and become the best of friends for that moment even if they most likely won't ever cross paths again. However, there are other times when one little girl or boy can have a tough time knowing how to make friends because they can't quite figure out how to find that one little connection that would bring two kids together.
I try my best to guide these kids in the right direction, maybe partner them up with different kids hoping something will click but sometimes despite my best efforts it just doesn't happen. It can be heartbreaking to watch but I guess you can't force a friendship.

Friendship is a special thing. It takes time to build and grow. Friendships need to be nurtured carefully because friendships are fragile. Children can't possibly know how fragile because at that age, friendships change daily. How many of us can say that the best friends we had in kindergarten, high school or even college are still our best friends years later?
 It's only when we grow up do we realize how important our friendships are to us. I'm not sure what I'd do without mine. We vent about work, and about kids, we laugh together, and sometimes cry together. We cheer each other's accomplishments, and comfort each other when things aren't going so well.

Unfortunately, sometimes it takes almost losing a friend to realize how very important that friend is to us. It's just one of those really difficult life lessons. The ones that really have to hurt so we can learn from them.
Friendship is not something I can teach my kids. I can teach them to be kind , take care of one another, and have fun together but I can't teach them the importance of not only being a good friend but having one too. I know I wouldn't trade mine for the world.

"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, 'What! You too? I thought I was the only one." ~C.S. Lewis