When you grow up your friends are your age. The world groups us by age for school and sports instead of ability levels. With a September birthday I was always the oldest. From school to sports teams, very few were older and if so, only by a few days. To top it off I was the oldest of all the May kids. Then we moved and I became the oldest kid on the block. To say I have a first born personality would be an understatement. I always found myself a little more mature than my peers and not really caring about their social lives.
As you go through grade school and middle school we defined our friendships by the confines of our grades. A sixth grader could not possibly be seen with the fifth graders at the neighborhood pool. Social suicide right there. This always baffled me because the girls in the grade ahead of me only had a few months or weeks on me age wise. Sadly, I was in a lower grade and thus off limits for friendship. Then high school hits and the grade lines start to fade. Once you surpass freshman status it didn’t really matter. In college it was easy to spot the freshman, they dressed up for class, but other than that no one really cares in college and every one is friends with every one and it’s wonderful. Unless you were that “adult learner” in class. No, you cannot be in our group because you will actually care about this project and we don’t.
As I’ve joined the adult world I have accumulated a group of friends ranging in age, AND I LOVE IT! We 20 somethings need you 30 and 40 somethings. We need your wisdom, examples and encouragement. We need your wisdom to tell us “Hey, you may want to go on that big trip now, while you can.”
To my married friends, we need you to show us what a marriage really looks like and that it’s actually hard. Disney and Hollywood have misled us for decades and we need you to show us your struggles and success. To give us solid advice such as, we can’t really change his slightly annoying habits. Not only are you great for a marital life, you show us how to parent little ones and balance life. I am still trying to figure out how to manage me and my basic needs. How you keep these other little humans alive and functioning and non annoying manner is beyond me. Well done.
Some days you need us to be a buffer for your kids. We will gladly play with your kids and have fun with them when we get together. We value adult time too, but for those of us with out kids and who love them, Your kids help fill that void for us. Hopefully we can be a good example to your kids. If any one needs a non-married 20 something example, I am nailing it. But we love your kids. I recently sent a letter to a girl at camp.Because why not?! We can be trusted adult in your kid’s life. I want to feel young again too and being with them is fun. Feel free to share your kids with us. We love them and you.
As for you wiser folk, you encourage us when you don’t hesitate to tell us to take a big trip or go abroad. To take the job or move. You guide us with careers and all the little tiny baby dreams we have. You know, the ones that seem to overwhelm you because they are just so big? When you’re scared of where this dream might lead you or heaven forbid you might actually be successful and get what you wanted. You encourage our baby steps and remind us that they matter. You remind us of when you went through life in your 20’s and how it was equally awesome and hard. We see you made it to the other side of becoming successful and it gives us hope that we will too. We need you and your encouragement in this time of uneasiness.
Don’t worry, you need us too. Kids are forgiving and we love them for this. The world hasn’t worn them down yet and most of what we do is awesome to them. We need them to get excited about our lives and give us the energy we need to carry on those big adventures we take. You know the ones that you have helped guide us along. They give us a new energy and life and I hope this is what I do for my wiser friends. You need our youthful energy and excitement for the world.
You need us young sprightly ones too. You need us for friends who don’t have kids or husbands and will talk about anything but those two things. We will go see that chick flick movie with you or go get a pedicure. We will go to that store your husband loathes and we love.You need us to explain social media and show you the good shopping and eating spots. Maybe us young-ins bring new enthusiasm to a dream you had or help shake you out of that rut. Maybe we just remind you of a fun time in your life.What ever role we fill, we’re glad to fill it.
We need more cross generational bonds in this world. Life is to short to navigate it alone. Yeah, I think my generation is pretty awesome and we’re going to do big stuff with our time here, but we think you guys are pretty awesome too.
What cross generation friendships do you value?