September 15, 2005
And the gang's all here
As a father, I'm conversant with this concept. Certainly I know that this is likely to continue throughout your life. I know that, as a young man, I had many friends with whom my parents were unacquainted (for various reasons, most of which can wait until you're older for explanation).
The people represented here might drift away as you get older, if we move out of the area, or as you develop new interests and hobbies that take you away from this core group, or they could remain in your life for a substantial period to come. In my life, I had friends who I went to kindergarten with that stayed in my life until I was well into my 20s.
My grandfather, your great-grandfather, often told me as I was growing up that it's not important to have a lot of friends, that it's far more important to have good friends. One should count oneself lucky, he said, if one could count one's good friends on one hand. People that you can count on, people who know you well. Certainly, I can say with pride that the people with whom I share my life have been in it for a very long time. Some of my best friends now have been that way since I was about 14.
Of course, people change. Priorities change. Sometimes people who you thought you'd lost come back.
One of my very very close friends has just returned from a long sojourn overseas. He's been gone for eight years. When you're small, eight years could seem like a very long time, but I can tell you that I feel like we're able to pick up almost exactly where we left off. I feel like our friendship has not diminished over that time, that we're still able to connect well. He hasn't had a chance to see you yet, but he's anxious to get to know you. Given that you already have a Guardian of Geekiness, we'll have to find him a niche to occupy in the Council of Elders, but I'm sure we can come up with something. I'm not sure that his dedication to roasting his own coffee beans is something you should be interested in quite yet.
nb: clockwise from you, located at 5 o'clock in the white babygro, is Rudy (screaming), Chloe, very fetching in fuschia and seemingly fascinated by, Jaida, Damien, then Oskar (also screaming), Stephanie, Massimo and Mia, then Ava, then Riley and finally Olivia (whose father can take the credit for this beautiful photo, which I Did Not Take).