Lately, I have been observing my teenage daughters maneuvering up and down the social ladder at school. They have built strong friendships, as well as a few short lived relationships. I have watched them get stabbed in the back too many times to count. I have seen them cast aside when boys come in the picture. One daughter became involved with a few girls that were questionable in my eyes and luckily when she saw them for who they were, she walked away and didn't look back.
I have been reflecting on my time in high school and the lessons I have learned. It doesn't matter what table you sit at in the cafeteria,as long as your friends are with you, but what happens if you make new friends? I was a lunch table switcher and still I feel uneasy about my decision. I remember running back and forth between two tables, until finally one day I stayed at the new table. Just because I became really close with a new group of friends didn't mean I didn't still love the old ones. Luckily, my friends understood. Recently, I encouraged my daughter to switch lunch tables because, unlike me, she was not happy. Since ridding herself of a few toxic friendships and removing herself from the lunch table to sit with some true friends she is happier.
I thought that some of the friends that I made in high school were going to be my life-long friends, but for the most part the only reason I know what is going on in their lives is because of Facebook.
Senior year was a crazy, emotional, mixed up time for me. I was working at maintaining a long distance relationship, and was in a bit over my head. Plus, I had to deal with surgery, college level courses, picking a college, petty teenage jealousy and uncertainty. I said more than I should have to some people and sabotaged a few good friendships. I had a friend "break up" with me on the last day of school due to the fact that we would be attending schools in different states. She wanted to cut me off before she was going to be hurt if our friendship didn't withstand the distance.
I wonder if any of the girls and boys who walk through my front door, stay until all hours of the night, and share meals with us will be the friends that last a lifetime. I hope my children make good decisions on judging character and knowing who their real friends are. Instead of being able to talk to fifteen year old me, I get the opportunity to teach eight children everything I have learned.
In case you are wondering, the girls I am still close to are from that first lunch table.