Why It’s Important to Form Friendships at an Early Age

friendship day

I’m about to embark on my 15th year of taking a girls’ trip with my childhood friends. I’ve known two of them since pre-school. If I were counting, that would be almost 40 years of friendship. Since we’re all spread out across the country, this annual get-together is something we all look forward to, as it’s like no time has passed at all — we pick right up where we left off.

Let the record state that I’ve got a few different groups of friends — my childhood friends, my Jacksonville friends, my work friends, and my mom friends. I can count on two hands how many of them I would pick up and call no matter the situation.

I’m not one for the seemingly made-up Hallmark holidays, but this is one I can get behind given the impact these women have on my life. The first Sunday of August is National Friendship Day, and, it is, in fact, a Hallmark-invented day on the calendar.

A little history lesson for you: National Friendship Day was originally founded by Hallmark, intended to be a day for people to celebrate their friendship by sending each other cards. But by 1940, the market had dried up, and eventually it died out completely. However, in 1998 Winnie the Pooh was named the world’s Ambassador of Friendship at the United Nations, and in April 2011, the United Nations officially recognized July 30th as International Friendship Day, although most countries celebrate on the first Sunday of August.

Friends come and go, but the good ones stick around. If you have children who are old enough to carry on a conversation, then you’ve probably already been through at least a few sets of friends. From pre-school to elementary school to middle and high school, then college. From the classroom to the many extracurricular activities — more friends!

When my son wants to have a playdate with a new or an old friend, I almost always say yes. I want him to form close friendships with kids of all ages, the same way I did. I hope some of the kids that make waves in our pool  and turn our bonus room upside down are still around 30 years from now. It’s one of the reasons we wanted a house with a pool — so we would have the “cool” house and all of his buddies (and ours) would want to hang out under our roof.

And, the nice thing about your kids making friends is that you almost always make a new friend through them. I know our little group of moms who spent hours upon hours at the soccer fields these past few seasons are better friends because of it, which makes playdates that much more fun!

So, pick up the phone and call (not text) your closest friends this weekend. Heck, pick up a Hallmark card and put it in the mail — really show them you’re thinking about them. Or, better yet, schedule a friends’ night out… it’s certainly worth celebrating.

Here’s to all the good friends out there!

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