As parents, we should encourage childhood friendships. You know those friends that you have had forever? The childhood friendships that you made somewhere back in elementary school or middle school. The ones who you hung out with everyday. They knew your first crush, shared your deepest secrets (as deep as a ten year old can have), and liked all the same crazy things that you liked?
Can Childhood Friendships Last? Yes!
We all have those childhood friends in our world. Most of the time, years and life cause us to drift apart but those true lifelong friends are always there for us – in spirit, in memories, in our hearts, and if we are lucky, in person.
These are the friends that we can talk to once a year and still pick up right where we left off. The friends that when we get together, no matter how much time has passed, we instantly feel comfortable and happy. These are true friendships that stand the test of time and distance.
Over the last couple of years I have watched my son forge one of these friendships. As parents, and as people, we don’t often get to see these things happen but when we do, it is a pure joy.
When my son started second grade, he met a classmate named Flynn. A sweet Australian boy who lived in our neighborhood. They got together for a playdate and hit it off immediately. They bonded over video games, swimming, giving little girls grief, silly humor, and just being fun loving boys. Within weeks they were pretty much constant companions.
It was one of those connections that was instantaneous. They spent days upon days together, after school and on weekends, and never tired of each others company, never fought, never had a disagreement, never got bored. Great mates in every sense of the word.
Forever Friends No Matter How Far Apart
Then we got the news that Flynn and his family were moving. And not just moving, but moving literally around the world – to Singapore! Needless to say, it was a sad day for my little man. His best bud was leaving. The two guys were inseparable for their last two months in Tennessee and then moving day came. Just as fast as their worlds came together, they were apart. It truly was like an old movie – waving goodbye as your buddy drives away!
Since the move, the two boys have stayed in touch via modern technology, phone, Facetime, and video games – and they continue to share life and stories. Luckily his parents and myself have also become close friends and we make sure that the two young dudes stay connected.
Well, this past week, our friends came back to our neighborhood for a week long visit and, just as I had hoped, Evan and Flynn picked right up where they left off! Laughing, playing, causing mischief, and being the great duo that they were (and still are). No amount of time or distance was going to separate these two, their spirit, or their friendship.
It genuinely made me cry tears of joy to see this unique bond continue right before my eyes. It was a special week for my son, not only to have fun but also to learn a lesson about true friends and how special that they are. I think the week even made his bond with Flynn stronger because both boys now see that nothing – not time or distance or life – can stand in the way of a really great friendship.
Us parents always talk about how we think the two of these guys will meet back up when they turn 18 and travel the world together. And you know what, I really think it will happen. But I also know that between now and then, there is special friendship, a lifelong bond that will continue to grow and thrive. Forever friends – no matter how far apart.
If you are lucky enough to have one of these friends, do yourself a favor and reach out to them. Say hello and catch up – you will be glad that you did. And encourage your kids to maintain their friendships too!
Rob Youngblood is a Single Dad, Keynote Speaker, Life and Communication Coach, Emmy Award Winning TV Host, Writer, and Storyteller. Learn more about him at youngbloodonthecoast.com. You can also follow him here on Twitter.