Sunday, June 24, 2007

ode to an old friend

Yesterday I spent the day with my best friend from high school. It was so great to have time together, and as our kids are getting older and play together, we really got to talk.

We met the summer before our freshman year, when we began practicing to be cheerleaders. We were cheerleaders together for our whole freshman year. When I did not make the JV team (and my BF did) I was crushed. (as it turns out it was a good thing, as I then discovered the theatre, and whole new worlds opened up to me, but at the time I sobbed) But by far the best thing that came out of that year of long bus rides and short skirts was this friendship. For four years we shared everything, and recorded our friendship in something we called "doodle books." We had good old fashioned spiral notebooks that we filled with notes, and doodles, and our own cartoon series, and made up stories, and song lyrics, and deep thoughts, and so many memories. We passed these books back and forth between classes, and I have no idea how many books we filled during our time in high school. I have quite a few in a box in my attic, and I imagine she has about as many in her attic. Sometimes I pull them out and laugh. And cry. They are quite a picture of who we used to be, and who we were becoming.

In the afternoons we would talk on the phone for hours, as I lay prone on the dining room floor, my legs propped up on the doorjamb. That is, if she didn't come over to my house for dinner. Or I wasn't spending the night at her house.

Our sophomore year I became her Godmother when she was baptized at my church.

We sang in choir together, and I saw her through a host of boyfriends (and she saw me through a host of crushes, and finally, one lovely relationship) We went on our senior spring break together with 5 other friends.

And, as happens, of course, we graduated from HS, and went off to college... in different states. And we had children and marriages and jobs and across country moves... and we did what a lot of friends do over time. We drifted apart, and came back together, and drifted apart, and came back together. We can go months without talking... not out of any anger, but simply because our daily lives are involved, and we have other things going on. But we finally call each other and it's as if no time has passed; it's like I'm lying on the floor in my parents dining room with my feet up on the doorjamb, and we talk for hours.


Joy, of course! said...

I understand this. I have several dear friends from when I was young and a few have moved away. When we get together it's like coming home to a warm place where you know you are secure to be who you really are, and not this adult self you have created for the world. I am glad you got to spend time with your friend.

jen said...

i have a friend just like that...and i get to see her next month, and am so, so happy.

lovely tribute.

Christine said...

I am still best friends with my high school friend. It is one of the most meaningful relationships i have had in my my life.

slouching mom said...

ahh. this reminds me of my friendship with my old pal elizabeth.

good times.

evocative post.

niobe said...

It's true that with good friends that you can often pick up pretty much where you left off. But still. I think it's a little sad not to be part of each other's daily lives any more.