Today we spent the afternoon with a group of preschool alumni from the school my now 7 year old attended for his first structured school experience. On the last day of preschool, graduation day, we all sort of realized that we would never be seeing each other again. After spending years together, watching our kids grow and play together, that everyone was going their separate ways to kindergarten. It was kind of jarring and depressing. One of the more proactive parents (might I mention she is from NY like me) ran around and collected everyone’s contact information. Then she created a spreadsheet and sent it to everyone; one of the best things ever done.
Since then, the group regularly gets together, almost the entire class. We have “camped out” on the North Shore at one of the parents’ family houses (OK, not real camping – pitched tents outside the house). We have celebrated birthdays. We are regularly invited out to one of family’s homes in Hawaii Kai for holiday doings; like today for Easter. It is nice because two more of the boys from preschool are now attending my son’s school. One of them, he is a handful, he is rambunctious, he is all boy and he was always one of my son’s closest friends in preschool. It is his parent’s house we were at today. His Dad told me that he is hopeful that all the kids kind of stay together so that when they are older and going out, they can all look out for each other plus there is the added bonus that all the parents will already know each other. He told us today that when the kids are “more civil” he is planning on screening in his concrete patio; when they are done running around like maniacs and screaming in their yard. I look at the kids and marvel how much they have changed. I wonder what this group will look like as they begin venturing into the unchartered waters of raging hormones. I worry that they will ultimately not be able to stay together as a group, regardless of how much we, the parents, desire it. There are already a range of personalities from strong to weak. I hope, really, really hope, that they can make it work. It would be in their best interest. Maybe the fact that their bonds are so strong, so old, will enable them to overcome the pressures society will place on them to not stay together, to not circle their wagons and protect the whole group. No matter what happens, I am hopeful that this group, the keeping together of this group will make them all stronger and better.