Day 157

Reading Bad Kid, I’ve developed a theory about friendship.

When I look at my 3 year old son, he is happy to play with just about any kid who is nice to him, and it doesn’t even matter where he is. The only word I can come up with to describe this quality is elastic.

Sometime in elementary school this seems to shift, or at least it did for me. Not all my friendships were not elastic, but some defintely were. I pretty much only played Barbies with Barbie (no, really) and Dawn. with Kat and Pam I did a lot of different things, we were looser and more elastic.

In sixth grade my friendship with Cathy was defintely not elastic. In fact, it felt confining, which is why I eventually drifted away.

In high school I moved between crowds, and this was somewhat less elastic – I hung with the stoners, the theater kids, the artists, and only did those things with those kids. On the other hand, my friendship with Anna was more elastic, which is probsbly why it grew deeper and was more meaningful.

As an adult I have friendships that are a range in elasticity, but I value the more elastic ones more, I realize. Is it just personality that makes some friendships elastic and others not so much? When do we lose our inate ability to be elastic in friendship that I see in my son? 

Update: I shared this post with my spouse, and she said she doesn’t think all kids are as easygoing and “elastic” in their friendships even as preschoolers as our son.  So maybe it *IS* just personality.  What do you think? 

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~ by realsupergirl on June 6, 2015.

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