We'd been in the same class since third grade... we were in the "gifted and talented" program at school so our classmates stayed the same from then on. It was held at the school I'd always went to, right at the end of our dead end street. She rode a bus to school from the neighboring city. We were inseperable in school and out. And while we each had our own separate friends, we were always with each other. We'd set up a video camera and record the "Katie and Ashlee Show" with my little sisters as guests- I have to admit we were pretty funny. We dreamed of moving to Soho after high school, living in an apartment similar to the one in "If Lucy Fell", the usual girly things. When I got in trouble and was put on restriction my parents didn't limit the TV, I simply wasn't aloud to socialize with Katie outside of school.
When we started middle school, we saw less and less of each other. We didn't have any classes or lunch together and each started spending more time with people from our own towns. But on the weekends and breaks we'd still get together... my mom was getting ready to re-marry and they were building a new house in a town about 45 minutes away. She'd come with us to the "property" as we used to call it, unable to say that it would someday become where I lived. We'd sit and talk in the field, daydream, make plans about building a club house in the cove of trees all the while secretly knowing we probably wouldn't spend any time there together.
As the time for me to move got closer our parents seemed to start to limit the time we spent together. She was there when I needed her though- my mom was selling our house and had a showing while Katie was over. We were told to stay in my room. That they'd come see it, but to stay in there. We did everything we could to sabotage the sale- plugged the toliet, made the faucet drip, and not so quietly whispered about how happy I was to move since "such and such didn't work in this old house".
Despite our best efforts the house sold, I moved, and when you're 12 years old long distance phone calls don't make the best of friends. We'd still see each other on weekends when I'd go to visit my dad. But my home situation was undesirable to say the least and I began to change, started smoking cigarettes and hanging out with older kids, ran away from home and was always getting myself in some sort of trouble. Her family welcomed me just the same, but I think we both knew that things we once shared were becoming few and far between.
Soon we didn't talk for months then years. We both grew-up, graduated, went to college. I got married. Then I found out my brother-in-law who was 13 at the time was friends with her little brother. We started to email each other - it was like no time had passed, but we lived on opposite sides of the country and had our own lives. Eventually David and I moved back home to start a family and Katie finished school and moved back home too. I had dreams of reconnecting but we never stuck with getting together to catch up.
Then she surprised me and showed up to my baby shower with her mom. It was SO great to see her. In all of the crazyness of the day I didn't have much time to talk, but I loved the fact that she was there.
All this to say that while it's sad that we often grow apart from those we love, people we have so much history with- It's a part of life. One of my favorite parts of being a parent is the ability to revisit my own childhood. Things I thought once forgotten come flooding back at the strangest of times. And I am facing the fact that some day Xavier will be in the fifth grade, he will have a friend that gets boobs or moves away. He will realize he is different. He will get his heart broken, experience love, loss and the like and while we can give him the right tools we will have to sit back and let him go through it. That's scary!