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The Value of Friendship

  • Date Submitted: 09/22/2010 02:29 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 76.6 
  • Words: 339
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The value of friendship
It seems to me that for most people, the very mention of a certain name will bring back a rush of childhood memories – memories of summer days spent together barefoot and of deep secrets passed from behind a guarding hand cupped to the mouth. Memories that turn up the corners of your lips in a slight smile and make you squint your eyes as though doing so will give a clearer view of the past. For me, that name is Joelle.
I met her when I was just 6. Joelle was 5, and we both made our way to the same baby-sitter's house every school morning at 7:00 a.m. She always wore her school jacket with the sleeves stylishly pushed up to her elbows. For no particular reason, we didn't like each other.
But two years later, when my parents bought a house on the other side of our small, central Illinois town, we found ourselves next-door neighbors. One cool spring night, shortly after my family had moved in, I saw her playing in her driveway, the sleeves of her St. Mary's school jacket pushed confidently up to her elbows. I nervously approached her with a pair of shoes that no longer fit me. She accepted the peace offering, and agreed to a bike ride around the block.
Our first conversation:
"Do you like fish?" she asked me as we neared the end of our street.
"Yes," I said. "Do you?"
But we agreed that bike rides were fun, cats were cute and acrobats were the coolest. So on that spring evening as we rode toward the cornfield bordering the southeast side of tiny Metamora, Illinois, and chatted about inane subjects, a friendship was born.
Psychologists often disagree about the impact childhood friendships like this one have on the development of kids' personalities. But quite often, the truth of the matter is that friends come and go while children are young, and that is perfectly healthy.


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