You and I must not define cynicism in the same manner. I am glad she found her people.
It’s interesting, my closest friend group is a group of moms, but not all of our kids are friends. Once middle school came, friend groups divided (for all 5 of my kids), but us moms stayed together, and brought other’s in. Some of their friends have never even spoken to my kids, our adult friendships have nothing to do with our children.
My closest friend group is the moms I got together with when my daughter was born for a playgroup. We are still tight 27 years later but none of our kids became friends.
One of my kids is that kind that keeps in touch, she has a group of friends from junior high/high school. As everyone has kids, it does get more difficult, logistically, to do the big weekend get togethers, but they are all still in touch, make efforts to stay connected and do try to see each other as a group when possible. Some of her best friends in her city are others from HS who also moved to this area that is a couple of hours from the HS area.
One of my closest friends I met because my DD dated her DS in HS, she called to warn me he was a bad boy, and he was and still is. We remain friends, she is good people, her son is going through a muti-decades phase of bad choices and I so respect her warning call.
oh! that takes guts to call and say your kid is a bad boy! kudos to her. She loves him; she’s practical.
I don’t think it’s necessarily over. I wouldn’t be surprised if they all move to the same place again within the next 10 years or so once they have some experience under their belts and are more marketable. I’m thinking about 2 of my sisters and their kids. The one sister, all her kids moved back to the same neighborhood, which is commutable to a major city; they are such a tight knit group and get together all the time and live amazing, happy, productive lives. The other sister, all her kids moved to Manhattan, and all the kid’s friends did too. It’s as if they plunked their town down there, all within a couple of subway stops from each other. That sister misses out on seeing her kids get together with their friends, but she is lucky enough to be able to visit fairly often and see all her kids at once.
For my kid, the wind is still going to be blowing her around for the next decade or so, with a gap year, hopefully med school, residency etc. Her future whereabouts are so uncertain, who knows whether she’ll be away from her friends or not, and if so, how far.
My D’s best friend is someone she met in preschool. They’re still friends today! They don’t see each other as much, but they do make time to catch up. She also still keeps in touch with friends she met in elementary and middle school.
But it also goes by so slowly. How many mornings did we have to wake up and help them to the bathroom, and that seemed would never end?
How many mornings did we have to get up to get them ready for school and that seemed that it would never end?
How many times did we have to deal with elementary school drama, and that seemed as though it would never end?
How many times did we have to deal with middle school drama and we prayed that it would finally end?
How many times did we deal with high school drama and angst which also seemed that it would never end?
Then, one day, it has all ended, and we can’t figure out how it all passed so fast.
We remember all of those best moments from those years, like the cuddles when they were really young, like random hugs, like “mom/dad, I really like spending time with you” in elementary school, like the first serious conversations with them in middle school. Like the victories, and the comfort they sought from us when they failed. Like when they first took adult responsibility for their actions, or when they wanted just to spend time with you. When they cooked dinner for the family for the first time, or had their friends over as teens, and you saw them shining in their element.
Those are the moments that we remember, while the slog of everyday cleaning and feeding, and doctors, and schoolwork, all get shunted to the dump where unimportant memories are stored until they are purged to make room for more important memories.
So it does seem like a short time, but my grey hairs tell me that it has been a long haul.
PS. my kid is planning on getting a PhD, so I expect that she will be seeking school advice for a long time still. We also get to be at another graduation.
Thanks for a thoughtful post!!
Thank you for yours and for starting the thread.
Now enough of this emotionalism, sharing of parenting experiences and sentimentality and get back to the important stuff like arguing over yield management and the morality of test optional policies😀
My daughter sounds similar to yours. When she comes home to gets together once or twice with various high school friends but she says once they catch up they don’t have a lot to talk about. I think they’ve grown apart. In some cases, they no longer have the shared interest that brought them together in the first place. And like your daughter, she does not plan to live here after college.
On the other hand, she is VERY attached to her college friends. I think they are more “her people” and will be her lifelong friends. I am envisioning lots of group chats and visits. And she also seems very practical about serious boyfriends. She much more practical in that regard than I remember being at her age. But I do admit that as her Mom I am likely not privy to all the details where romantic relationships are concerned.
Different experience for boarding school graduates.
Also, different experience for college graduates who head off to law school, medical school, or other graduate degree programs.
Also different experience for those who marry soon after finishing college.
Change is a constant in life.
I know, right? What aren’t they telling us? Well, none of our business, I guess!
I do remember trying to stay close to my hometown best friend, but it fell apart almost as soon as I went to college. I went to a school nearby, so I’d invite her up, but she wasn’t comfortable and was clearly “the high school kid”, and we grew apart; her life took some bad turns and eventually it became impossible to stay friends. I still look her up online sometimes, but if we met irl it’d be pretty rough. The trajectories have been painfully different and she’s still got some serious problems going on.
For a long time I really thought the college friends would be the ones I went through life with, and for a long time they were. A few still are. But these days it’s the grad school and professional ones – not necessarily people I’ve worked with, but people in my field or adjacent fields. And – come full circle – old students now, too. Those are different relationships – the “teacher” part never comes off completely – but as close as any other friendship. And, come to think of it, a few of my old profs, too, who’re all recently retired, or not so recently.
My D is still pretty close to the tribe they put together in HS. They live all over US: CA, DC, Boston and Honolulu. They have zoom meetings and are in the midst of weddings—3 in the next few months among the group if 8 or so.
She’s also made some great friends in college, sone of whom she shares a house with (one of them bought a new house and the room mates all moved from the yucky old place to the new one). Friendships have evolved through the years but she believes she will maintain many of these friendships for life.
S has stayed friends with some friends from HS and college & work.
H and I still have friends we’ve been close to for decades. Two of my best friends live far away NM & CA). Things evolve but the friendships have endured.
What a poignant moment in time for you both We live, grow, and hopefully reflect on what has been and what is to come. The passage of time is hitting you both in different but similar ways, and it should be noted that both are quite beautiful! Growth is a bittersweet part of life and you know this more than your child. As parents, we bear the weight of each and every transition. You are carrying for two right now. Wishing you the patience and grace to sit with this
Life goes on. If there are stages we miss, it is credit to those good old days we were blessed to experience.
Thanks for all the kind comments and sharing of experiences.
Definitely tough dropping him off but he seemed pretty excited as most of his housemates were already back. My wife and I decided to stop at a BB on the way home so just got back to our house now.
We arrived to a bouquet of flowers addressed to Mom and Dad with a simple note from our kid that said thanks, love you and see you in a few weeks. I think I shed a few more tears then my wife.
I am getting old and sentimental.
You and your wife raised a great kid! So thoughtful.
That’s really touching! Especially for a young guy - a nice tribute to all you did to raise him.