“Hold on a sec. It’s in here somewhere.” (Digs through backpack.) “Ah-ha! Here it is.”
Picture me waving an excuse note for my tardiness in posting. Blame it on the not-so-smallish people living in my house, eating my food, and leaving mountainous piles of laundry for me to do. Blame it on the hubby who interrupted me no less than three times while I was writing an important email then insisted I run an errand to the bank RIGHT THIS MINUTE! (Okay, so he let me put my shoes on and get dressed.) Or you can just go ahead and put me in detention. I’ve heard that’s where all the fun kids are anyhow.
Welcome to the first day of school! Let’s be honest. I’m sure some people would say it’s such a special day because of the promise and hope of the things you’ll learn in class. Things that might actually be useful some day. But come on. Be real. The best part of the first day of school was getting to see your friends. Friends you hadn’t seen all summer. People who weren’t your friends yet, but were going to be. Friends are the reason my middle school daughter got up three hours early to make sure she wore the perfect outfit and that her hair was just right, even though her goal was to look like she wasn’t trying too hard. Friends, and more specifically, potential GIRLFRIENDS, are what inspired my youngest son to don a tie and slick his hair. Not to impress his teacher that he’s a serious student, mind you. Apparently, second grade girls are all about the blue clip-on tie with the black Transformer T-shirt. Or so my son says.
Update: The blue clip-on tie and black Transformers T-shirt totally worked! Oh, and SHE asked HIM if he’d be her boyfriend. Dang, that boy is slick.
Back when I was in high school, I was a competitive baton twirler which meant every afternoon and most weekends, I was practicing or taking lessons or going to contests.
This left very little free time during the school year to get up to any worthy-of-retelling-to-future-grandchildren shenanigans with my friends. That and I had an older sister who’d gotten into enough trouble for herself, me and our younger sister. I couldn’t get by with squat from my folks because they learned all my older sister’s tricks. Besides, most of my good friends had band practice or sports going on too.
I laugh when I hear my kids talk about their BFFs (best friends forever) because I think they misunderstand that second F. But when I think of two of mine from high school (one of which goes back to fifth grade), I wonder which of their current friends might be the ones who they stay in contact with years and years later. That friend that they could call up in the middle of the night when their world hits rock bottom. That friend who rearranges her work schedule for when you come to town and only have a few hours to spare. (I have gotten up at 4 am to take an early spin class with that fifth grade BFF. I hate spinning but love the friend.) One of those friends lived in my sparsely populated neighborhood. The other was a friend by schedule, meaning we had a lot of classes together, starting with French II which meant we both got to swoon over Nick Resta (dreamy sigh). My neighborhood friend had my back, especially when I was running late for the bus. She was my lookout and held the bus for me as I charged down the road with dust flying behind me. (Really. Our road wasn’t paved.) She made sure I looked presentable by the time we got to school. My class friend kept on me about my school work when I’d spent all my time practicing my twirling that the homework didn’t get done.
My college BFFs are a special group. We’re all band geeks. Most of us married other band geeks. And we strive each year to get together. It usually takes us at least 6 months to plan something, but once we get together, we’re already thinking about the next time we can make it happen. Sometimes it’s just a girls’ weekend, a few times we’ve included the hubbies, and the last time it included families.
My middle school daughter recently asked about my long-term friendships. When I told her most were over twenty years, she was impressed that they’d been cultivated without Facebook and email even though I’ve moved many times in my adult life. She said in this amazed voice, “Wow! So it really is possible to have best friends forever?” Yep. That sounds about right.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I think I’ve got some BFFs hanging out in the detention room and they’re waiting for me.