I've noticed that amongst Lydia's friends, expressions of love for each other are pretty common. They think nothing of saying I love you when hanging up the phone or posting on facebook. I'm not a sociologist or psychologist, but I have my theory about why this generation is a close-knit one. I think they've spent more time together, relied on each other, and come to be closer friends because a.) Both parents work outside the home and they not only see each other in school, but also in after-school care. Maybe they spend more time together because families help each other out and watch each other's kids more. b.) The world has become a scarier place for even the most sheltered kids. This particular generation was in preschool on 9/11. In their most impressionable years they learned that life could be cut short in an instant. They are a generation banded together to find strength in each other. Is that dramatic?
I've also noticed through observing these kids that they have a strong desire to do the right thing, to make a positive impact, and to achieve their goals. They want to make a difference. It seems like they will grab any opportunity to help someone out. Maybe my daughter just has a particularly good group of friends, but I think this is more widespread than that. This is something we should foster in our kids even if we ourselves don't have the strongest social conscience. I for one am going to try harder to provide as many options to serve as I can for Lydia and her friends. They are open. They are motivated. They need us.