I think the friendship of children is somewhat different from ours (grown-ups), and I had a chance to observe an interesting event of my daughter. Let me introduce what happened. There are several popular water-parks in South Korea, and one of them is Caribbean Bay which is not far away from my place. My daughter and I purchased the annual membership, and we visit the place on Saturdays quite often. To my daughter, Caribbean Bay is such a fancy place, and she wants to visit there as often as possible.
On Saturday two weeks ago, we went there, and my daughter rode a water-slide for young children. It was only about 3 meters long and safe even for young children. She kept sliding down the water slide for more than 30 minutes – slid down with happy smile, ran up the stairs, rode the water-slide again. As an adult, I wondered why she was enjoying the repetitive simple action so much, but it was such a fun for her for sure. I simply sat down nearby and watched her to check her safety.
Then, I watched an interesting scene. she was running up the stairs for another ride. Then, she was talking to a young lady who was in the line for a ride. She was about the same age as my daughter. I could not understand their conversation because I was too far away from them to hear but my daughter was saying something with an excitement. And the new friend was answering something with a smile. They looked like old friends, and it was hard to believe that they just met.
I found the new friend’s parents watching their daughter in front of me. They also saw two young ladies’ conversation. The wife was asking her husband with a smile, “What do you think they are talking about?” Two young ladies rode the water-slide together for next 10 minutes or so.
Last Saturday, we visited Caribbean Bay again. At the same water-slide, my daughter had a ride several times. Then, she was not interested in the water-slide any more. Instead, she was playing with another new friend. She was holding the new friend’s hand. My daughter came to me and said that the new friend is in the same age as her. She seemed happy to meet a new friend. Then, she asked for her life-jacket because her new friend was wearing it. She ran to the new friend and played for a while. Then, she came back to me again to get her aqua shoes because her friend was wearing them. They played together for about 40 minutes. They both looked so excited. Before leaving the pool, they said “See you again here”.
This episode made me think about our (grown-ups) relationship with others including friendship. As we grow older and especially when we joined the competitive societies, we ask ourselves if our potential relationship will be beneficial to us when we meet new people. If the answer is yes, we go ahead with the relationship. If the answer is no, there is a hesitation whether it is intentional or not. We may call it maturity, but I still feel like something important is missing. On the other hands, children’s friendship is so pure. There is no consideration if a potential relationship is beneficial to them or not. There is no discrimination. They just go ahead and make friends with any one. They treat everyone with sincere and pure mind. It may not be the ideal mindset in this competitive society, but I still have nostalgic feeling towards children’s purity and sincerity.