Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Where No One Needs to Know Your Name

My daughter met a boy at the McDonald's PlayPlace and announced to us that she was going to marry him. She is four years old. Meanwhile, I didn't announce that I was going to marry anyone until I was 40 years old. Just a bit of a difference.

I don't think she's actually going to marry him--she doesn't know his name, and my understanding is it's fairly important to know the name of your spouse before you get married. (Vegas wedding chapels excluded, of course.)

Making best friends.

Kids have this ability to make friends any time and anywhere. Whenever we go to a park, the kids end up becoming best buds with whoever else happens to be at the playground with them. They'll say, "Dad! Dad! I made a new best friend!"

I'll say, "Great! What is your best friend's name?"

"Umm...I don't know." Apparently, names aren't important for friendships.

A very frightening sign.

A while back I took the kids with me to get an oil change in the mini-van at the car dealership. Usually when I go there I plop the kids in front of the television and get some writing done, but on this occasion the television in the kids' waiting area wasn't working. Without the television, the kids quickly teamed up with another couple of kids and they played tag and danced and ran around the dealership to entertain themselves. When the mother of those others told her kids that it was time to leave, I thought all four kids were going to break down into tears. It was quite a scene, complete with hugs and sad waves goodbye.

Meanwhile, I don't make new friends very often. The vast majority of my friends are people I've known for most of my life--or at least for several years. In recent years I've made several acquaintances. These are people I could become good friends with, if I spend enough time with them. But, I usually end up spending my time with my family or the friends I already have.

The older we get, the more time it takes to actually become friends with someone. But we are less likely to take the time it takes to make those friendships. Things would be easier if we were like kids--able to lose ourselves immediately in friendships with people we've just met. (Who knows? You might even meet someone at the PlayPlace that you'll want to marry.)

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