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Thank you for being a friend

A few months ago, I had dinner with friends I’ve known since we were in elementary school. I’m in my mid-40s, so I’ll let you do the math on the length of those friendships.

We hung until our early 20s, when careers, education, marriages and kids put us on different paths. But once every year or so, we take a break from our lives and get together for some nostalgic laughs, usually at an all-you-can-eat buffet, a tradition dating back our teen years. There’s no doubt we’ve seen each other through fun times, bad times and, most certainly, awkward times. But at this age, we all have a solid perspective on where we’ve been and where we’re going, even if we’re all going different ways.

When I go to my 12-year-old daughter’s parent-teacher meetings, her teachers always mention how she has great friends, some of whom she’s already known for several years. I’m just as pleased to hear this news as I am hearing about how well she’s doing in any given subject. The friendships we make in our early and formative years are important because these are people who knew us when we were still learning about ourselves, each other and our place in the world. They’re friends who saw us grow, learn and were there to lean on each other, even in situations we now regard as trivial.

These kinds of friendships are even more important now, as we count amongst our friends the virtual kind with whom we may never connect on a real, personal basis. Sometimes the most important lessons learned in school are from the friendships we develop. We don’t know it at such as young age, but friends teach us about ourselves, how to navigate social situations, how to keep each other out of trouble, peer pressure, forgiveness, how to keep each other’s chins up and how to have fun.

My school-age friends and I may only connect with each other once a year or less, but each meeting is one of laughs and reminiscing. And while we look back on how far we’ve come, I think somehow we all remain a little same at the core.

In this issue, we learn about summer camps, what kids learn when they attend one, and how families can help deal with the separation. (And of course, summer camps are also a great place to meet lifelong friends). See page XX. On page XX, Sarah Sawler has a story on helping your child with anxiety. And our latest student correspondent, Jaime Sexton, shares how her family copes when dad is deployed overseas. I think you will learn the interesting ways in which military families deal with separation and have a renewed respect for their work. Read her story on page XX.

As always, send your story ideas or comments to me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .




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