Lessons From Quarantine - Friendship

December 28, 2021

From PHPC Member Mindy Baxter:

Our 12-year-old Sam was walking our dog one day when he met another 12-year-old walking his dog in the neighborhood. The pair bonded over dogs and pandemic boredom.

A wonderful friendship has bloomed and become the best part of the pandemic for both boys.

Peter lives two streets over. His mom, a physician, and I agreed the guys could walk the dogs together or swim in our pool, not coming in the house. Pretty much every day now, they do both, walking dogs in the morning then agreeing to meet up to swim in the afternoon.

During a normal, pandemic-free life, we’re so busy that friendships like this don’t have the time to happen. Sam makes friends at school, but after school is homework and activities and dinner. Weekends are school projects and more activities. There’s no downtime for a spontaneous neighborhood friendship to be nurtured.

And we all need friends. Peter and Sam will be in the seventh grade in the fall, not anyone’s best year of school. They are each heading to new schools with new expectations, too. There’s a lot of change coming their way. Add in a pandemic, and fall could look pretty rough.

Yesterday, Sam and his older brother and Peter and his younger brother played in our pool for hours. Half the neighborhood probably heard the four of them whooping and hollering, throwing balls, creating goals and negotiating rules. Whatever seventh grade looks like this fall, I suspect Peter and Sam will both remember this summer and this friendship.

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