Weekends around here have changed a lot in the past year or so. The kids are both teenagers now, and their social calendars are full. Most weekends contain at least one sleepover. Tonight Emmy’s sleeping at her friend’s house and one of Joey’s friends is spending the night here. He brought his PS4 and I whipped up nachos and miniature chocolate chip skillet cookies for everyone and Joey’s having a blast. It’s a cheerful cacophony of gaming, verbal sparring and laughter, and it makes me happy.
When we decided to move back here, I worried the kids might have a hard time finding friends. My own memories here were mostly of feeling out of place, like I didn’t belong, like there had been some mixup and I was just here until we returned to live in the Hamptons or the Rockies.
In the beginning it was rough for the kids. They felt out of place because they really were out of place. They were just desperately wanting to get back to their life and their friends in Utah. It has been so tough to watch them go through that.
But now, two years on, they each seem to have found their tribe. Emmy has a small, close group of girlfriends who are smart, funny, creative and gloriously nerdy. She seems completely at ease and completely herself with them. Joey has a somewhat larger group of high school friends, all good, bright kids who seem to be there for each other. Friends are arguably as influential on teens as parents are, if not more so. It looks as if their circle of friends will be a positive influence on them. For that I am thankful. Once again, my kids are getting it right more than I ever did.