Friday, February 4, 2011

Nurturing the Fun of Friendship

Most days I am very happy to be an adult. I am not someone that wishes to return to their "Glory Days", whatever the heck that is supposed to mean. Don't get me wrong. I LOVED being a child and I ADORED being a teenager. I realize that the teen years are difficult for many but well, I had a ball. In fact, I think the reason I have enjoyed teaching high school for 20 years is partially because I am completely comfortable and energized when I'm with teens. I find their fun FUN. I find them incredibly amusing and I love to witness their journey towards maturity as they approach adulthood. I try my best to be there for them, to offer them a different perspective than they may have on a variety of subjects or experiences. I enjoy challenging them and getting them to realize their potential. It's exciting to be part of their world as they get ready to spread their wings. But I also know that I get as much out of the time I spend with them as they do, if not more. I think back to those adults who spent time with me when I was a teen and I now understand why they enjoyed me and my friends. We were real. We were unpretentious, we were simply soaking in everything around us, and we were FUN.

I had my teenage years and despite fabulous memories of friends, dating, school activities, and family fun, I have no desire to relive them. I am content to be the dutiful parent, teacher, wife, and citizen. I also know that growing up doesn't mean that you stop having fun. Sure, you do become considerably less selfish and there's some very grown-up responsibilities to juggle, but there's also a relaxed sense of purpose and an inner happiness that met me in my adult years. Fun isn't elusive when you're adult, not if you don't take yourself too seriously. It can be found with spontaneity easily enough; at least that's true for the adults in this household. It doesn't take much for us to have fun. So no, I would not want to trade ages with any of the teens I work with or live with. Adulthood suits me just fine.

With that being said however, I do wish I could find more opportunities to get out with my friends more often than I do. It can be difficult to orchestrate such plans and let's be honest, some days after a long stretch of work and family demands, the most attractive option for a Friday night is to make friends with the recliner. But this past week I made more of an effort to make plans with friends. Cathy and I will gather our spouses and our kids together for a few hours of Super Bowl fun this Sunday night. Jeanna and I will enjoy a girls' night out and go for dinner and a show. It's a start. I hope more plans will follow this spring and summer.

Because although family comes first, and happily so, I do sometimes miss those carefree days of making one quick call to get a group of friends together, to do little more than hang out, play a game of pool, laugh, watch a movie, or pig out on pizza and brownies. The trick is to continue working to nurture our friendships. After all, I want the fun of my friends forever, not only in my Glory Days but in my Golden Years as well.


  1. My teen and tween (all of my kids, actually) are fun, too. When we're doing lessons, we spend as much time being silly as we do being serious.

    I think we're both good at not wishing our lives away. We simply live them, finding the fun to be had in the everyday ordinariness, and that's the way it should be.