My son’s friend walked in the room and as soon as he saw me, he got a huge grin on his face. The 11-year-old boy, who is taller than me and wears bigger shoes, ran across the room and engulfed me in a huge bear hug.
When he told me that he had missed me over Christmas and was happy to see me, it made my day. A few days later, I got the pleasure of hearing about my daughter’s best friend’s vacation over breakfast. And in many ways, I enjoy these conversations and friendships with my kids’ friends as much or more than those with many grownups I know.
I have fond memories of spending time with several of my friends’ parents while growing up. On many occasions, I talked with them about things that I didn’t want to tell my parents. And I also got to see my own mother became a surrogate mother of sorts to several of my friends. A few months ago, several of my BFFs from high school stopped by my mom’s for a visit when I wasn’t even in town.
One of my wishes has always been to be there for other kids as people were there for me growing up. It is a wonderful feeling to be important to a child, even if they are not your own. And if I am really lucky, then one day Laurel and Trevor’s friends will come back to visit me when they are all grown up.