This time of year tends to evoke a lot of very fond memories for me. Growing up in Southern California there was always somewhere fun to go. However, looking back I really don't think it was so much about where we went as who I was with.
This photo includes four of my six closest friends through my teen years. It really didn't matter where we went when I was with these girls life was filled with excitement.
Three of the four in this photo are sisters and two of them worked nights helping their father clean the drive-in theater. I have many fond memories of going to help clean the drive-in. You wouldn't think picking up trash and cleaning bathrooms could be so much fun but it was with these girls. The bonds with these girls have been lifelong bonds.
Having this group of friends taught me the importance of friendship. It also taught me the importance of parents encouraging their children to make friends and to allow them to have their friend over often.
While my kids were growing up my husband use to complain that our home was grand central station. It was a very busy place with our four kids and one or two of their friends over at the same time, sometimes even more. At times there were up to seven extra kids at our home.
So to all you parents out there of pre-teens and teens I highly recommend an relatively open door policy for your children's friends, while it may make life a bit noisy and hectic at times it is well worth the benefits.