It is funny how friendships change as we grow older. Growing up and through college I wanted friends that were at similar stages in life like me. I wanted friends that were my age and had little drama. After college came challenging years where I hung on to school friendships and then people start moving away and getting married. After I was married and my children had not entered school yet, my dream was to have friends close by where the husband and wife were still together, had children in the same age range as mine, and where my husband and I liked the other couple and not just the wife. This was a true struggle for a few years, but then the turning point hit when my kids started school.
As the kids were old enough to be in scouts and start playing sports, we have had the opportunity to make that dream of mine come true. We have met some of the best families through sports and scouts. I have to admit that it is easy to make friends when you have a pool and like hosting social gatherings. One invitation can lead to a lifetime of friendship.
It is wonderful to make new friends at middle age although I hate to admit we are in that range. At this stage of our lives, the friends we make are not pretentious, but are gracios and truly happy to accept the invitations especially when they don’t have to get a babysitter. It is so ideal when the kids hang out and the parents hang out and all get along. Also, the adults recognize what it takes to have someone over and all offer to bring something. We have had many gatherings where families bring appetizers, drinks, and more than enough side dishes or other food. We also recognize that we are all busy, nothing is perfect and the chance to relax with friends stress-free is golden. Because we are so busy some of the best times have been with last minute invites like one we were invited to at 9:00 am the day of the get together.
We have made the best friends through cub scouts due to the many family activities involved. Sports friends are easy to make as well by just going out for pizza after the game. The best part of the friends we have is that the invitations are not one way. If you get invited to someone’s home it is great to reciprocate and I think some people don’t get that part. Reciprocation can be in the form of an outing or time at the park, but it does not have to be in your home only.
It continues to be a wonderful journey in life when you open your home, open your heart, and reach out to new people. You never know when people may move away so you need to continue to make new friends every year. It is work that is well worth the payoff.
The Girl Scouts could not have said it better than in the first song we learned in scouting:
Make new friends and keep the old,
One is silver and the other is gold.
What new friendships are you working on?