Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Childhood friendships

I was talking with a friend of mine at the park the other day about the good old "do you plan to homeschool" question and she mentioned something to me I keep thinking about in regards to my own children. In a recent comment, one of our readers made the point about catholic school being a great arena for her to learn about friendship. I quite agree but as my friend Brooke and I were talking about the great question she said "You know there was a time in most of our lives when our friends were the most important things in the world." I nodded-- I remember spending hours "breathing on the phone to my friends" as my mom put it, and I am sure most of us did at that junior high/ highschool age, being inordinately attatched to our cliques or sports teams or boyfriends or whatnot... but Brooke went on to say that when all that is over, the people who are really there for you at all the important times in your life-= wedding, first baby, hospitalizations, sickness, etc., are your family. Those people who we thought understood us for ever, "BFF", many of them have drifted out of our lives and are lucky to get a Christmas card. Schooling at home definitely encourages the deepest friendships of family memebers to be well, family members- those who will be with us on our journey for life (God willing).

It makes me smile when we get together with friends and my children still want to sit next to each other at the table because "My brother is my best friend in the whole wide world!" (on our good days). My sister is homeschooling her kids in Vermont- land of pagans- but at least they have good taste and she knows few others who are doing it as well. But one homeschooling family she knows has older girls. My sister asked the 12 year old how her recent birthday was and the girl shrugged and said, "it was ok... my dad had to work". Their father is a nurse. My sister and I talked about how amazing that is: at that age most girls would not have cared about much more than a party with gifts, but this girl was bummed because she just loves her dad so much and wanted to be with him. This relational emphasis is not wierd, it is appropriate. What a joy to have a pre teen daughter whose number one man is her dad! Regardless of what we do - school at home or school in a formal environment, it is good to remember to emphasize the importance of family friendships in our children. Someday they might all live in different parts of the country- but now is a chance to form those friendships and memories to cherish later.

Hope writes from Fillmore CA


one of us :: 6:55 AM :: 7 Comments