In this photo, one of our school-aged summer program participants is showing a preschooler how to play a game. Notice the expression on the young child’s face. He appears delighted at receiving the interest and attention of the older child.I think about my friends, the small group of people I’ve taken the time and effort to know on a deeper level than I’ve had the opportunity to know most people in my personal and professional life. I have an interesting and diverse group of friends, and I find that my best friends are my oldest friends, because we share history and, generally, common backgrounds. Our common backgrounds facilitate volumes of subtext that provides a comfort and trust in our relationships. I am sad to say, though, that the majority of my friends are cohorts in regard to age, as most of them are within a decade or so of my own age.
Like you, I treasure my friends. I learn from them as we travel along our paths in life together. I imagine, though, how insightful and interesting it would be to have a friend or two who are a generation older than me; wise women who have traveled further along the road in life. I watched my granddaughter interacting with her swim coach last week. I observed as Ceci was not only learning to swim but was also studying this young woman who was teaching her, collecting data and information that will be useful as she begins to understand and formulate an idea about what kind of young lady she will become.
Our summer program has included visits to the Brian Center, a rehabilitation center where many older people reside. It is amazing to watch the interactions between the residents and our young children. We need to encourage more interactions between people of different developmental life stages. It’s important, don’t you agree?
Katherine Generaux, Community Inclusion Director