I grew up on Pinehurst Street in the small town of Sidney, Ohio. I got lucky enough to have a bunch of boys living on the same street as me. Those years we spent growing up cemented our friendship. Each of us could name specific reasons why the way we grew up qualified as the best childhood. The reasons might vary a little, but the common theme was that we were just kids playing outside trying to figure out how to have fun without getting into too much trouble. I’m 18 now, a senior in high school. Some of those boys are a little younger than me and some older. Despite our differences growing up, we are still very close friends. Things will soon change drastically for the boys who grew up on Pinehurst. We share a common past, but our lives after graduation are going to go in different directions.
One of those boys grew up being the center of attention. He was always the most energetic and had the most emotion. It’s safe to say he hasn’t changed much. From getting mad in the driveway over basketball in fifth grade to getting technical fouls in high school basketball for arguing with refs, he cannot contain his passion and enthusiasm. He has often harnessed that passion and enthusiasm as fierce support for his friends. He doesn’t miss an opportunity to show up for someone else. The same enthusiasm and drive helped him to parlay mowing lawns, mulching, bush trimming, and edging into a thriving small business. He almost has his associates degree in business and hasn’t even graduated high school yet. He plans to grow his business here in Sidney once he graduates. I know he will become a successful entrepreneur because of his passion and determination to succeed.
Another boy grew up being the troublemaker. He would always do something he wasn’t supposed to do. Sometimes his athleticism and hormones got the best of him. He was very competitive which led him to play hard when it came to any sort of competition. When his need to win basically ran all his friends away, I stayed there for him and continued to be his friend. We don’t get to hang out as much today, but back then we hung out all the time. From being scared of playing hide and seek to being scared of a 90 mph fastball – this kid faced his fears. His plan after graduation is to go to Edison for a business degree. Though he is even more excited for all of the fastballs he will continue to hit as a member of the Charger Baseball team at Edison. He will accomplish his goals because of his unrelenting drive to win.
The next friend grew up being the nonconformist of the group. He didn’t have all the athleticism as the rest of us. He had hobbies that most of us didn’t have. Despite that, he was still family to us, so we made sure to include him in the games we played. From making duct tape wallets to playing pickleball in the driveway, he always had a unique idea of having fun. He really liked scary movies, which I happened to hate, but he made me watch them anyway. We would usually hang out at his house because we could play wiffle ball in the backyard, pool and ping pong in the basement, and anything we could think of in the garage. We were always coming up with new games. Those days on Pinehurst must have had an impact on him because finally his senior year, he joined the baseball team. His plan after he graduates is to join the workforce and eventually save up enough money to go to college for criminal justice. Because of his will to try new things, I believe he will become successful in whatever he pursues.
The last friend was the shy one in the group. He never spoke over anyone and usually avoided uncomfortable situations. He always got scared whenever he heard police sirens. He never wanted to go ding-dong ditching when everyone else wanted to. He wasn’t used to getting in trouble since he never did anything wrong. Whenever we played games or sports, he was always there to play. He was sneakily the most athletic in the group, besides the older kids. From one-hand catches in front yard football to playing sports like golf, bowling, and tennis – his athleticism has no limits. His plan after high school is to continue his real estate classes through Edison Community College. Once he finishes those, he plans to become a real estate agent with a focus on the investment side. Eventually, he also wants to get a camper van so he can travel all over North America. Even though he was afraid to do some things as a kid, he has gained the knowledge and confidence to take more risks.
Four friends with the same childhood are going separate ways into adulthood. Being a kid was the best life to have: no priorities, no job, no bills, and no worries. We lived as if the world ended at the edge of Sidney, Ohio. Once graduation happens our choices are to work or go to college. We won’t have easy access to free time or to our friends like we used to. We won’t have our parents coming outside to tell us that dinner is ready. It is now our responsibility to write the next chapters of our lives and find the happiness that we had in the past. My guess is that if we take the lessons we learned growing up together on Pinehurst, we will not only find success in our futures, but happiness too. To these four friends, I wish you only good fortune.
Kaden Abbott is the son of Angie Abbott and Ric Abbott. He is a senior at Sidney High School. His plans after graduation are to continue his academic career at Edison State Community College. In his free time he enjoys exploring nature, spending time with family and friends, and playing any sport he can get his hands on. He is looking forward to going on trips this summer like Mackinac Island, Country Concert, and Hocking Hills.