My son and daughter-in-law now reside in San Francisco, and several of their friends from that area made the trip to take part in the festivities. But that’s not what impressed me the most. What caught my attention were the five young men that Ross knew from high school and middle school who flew or drove in from faraway places to show their support.
Nearly 10 years have passed since our son’s high school years, and yet these guys are still in touch. Ten years is a long time – especially when you are still in your 20s and your paths have taken you to the four corners of the country. I can see the influence these five have had on my son. They all have their roots in Tuscaloosa. In some ways, that makes them brothers.
One of the five was Ross’ best man, Alex. We had not seen each other since his own wedding five years ago. It felt a lot like seeing a child return home from a long trip. In the days leading up to the wedding, Laura and I had several opportunities to hang out with just Alex. We reminisced about the days when he and Ross were kids. Those stories solidified my thoughts that these guys will be friends forever. I am proud of my son for making such great friends. And I am grateful to God for making their friendship possible.
If there is one regret that I wrestle with, it’s that I did not spend more time helping my kids cultivate such important relationships. I wish I had spent more time getting to know their friends and investing energy in their world. I probably spent too much time complaining about some of those same friends. If you are a parent with kids still at home, please make their friends a top priority. Every small investment will bring loads of returns. I have seen the fruit of our labor. Take advantage of the time you have. You will be glad you did.