Sunday, May 18, 2014

And a word about childhood BFFs

It's May 18th.  I don't notice the date right off the bat. 

I notice that it is Sunday.

I'm having my coffee, watching the Food Network and browsing ads. 

But it just feels like something, something, about this date is not right.

Am I forgetting something? 

And then I see the date at the top of the paper. 

May 18, 2014.

It's Marnie's Birthday.  OF COURSE!

Marnie is my childhood "BFF."  Best friends forever. childhood goes, my very first BFF. 

But Marnie.

My very first BFF.  Slumber parties.  Trying to match clothes.  Nick-names.

It all comes back when I think of my very first Best Friend Forever. 

My 1st BFF is one of 4 sisters.  So slumber parties with just her actually looked more like a party with each sister inviting a friend to spend the night.

One of the sisters and her friends would lead "dance parties" when there was absolutely "NO NON-MOVEMENT ALLOWED."  If you had to pee, a witness had to be present to make sure your feet were still moving. 

I remember dancing the night away to Jessie's Girl.  It was a record.  Played over and over. 

"Haunted tours" were led and attended by many a sister-and-friends" in the dark.  We would hang on to a rope and be led around the house and outside the house, in the dark. 

Crushes were not only discussed, but prank called....during a time when there was no blocking your number, and 10 times out of 10, you would have to ask the parent answering the phone to speak with said crush. 

"Do you like 'so-and-so?' she wants to have your children.'"  Some times, some "friends" would not wait for the "crush" to get on the phone.  Parents were horrified.  Thank goodness for no "caller ID."  

My BFF and I really wanted to be blood sisters.  So did some of her sisters and friends.  But we were all afraid of blood and skin-pricking and all of that. 

So we became "fire-sisters." 

As I look back, I wonder how that is better.  A bunch of us standing around and joining our lit matches in "ceremony" does not actually sound safer. 

But so. very. 1980's', with a flair of "Stand by Me" and "The Sandlot." 

My childhood BFF moved away after middle school.  Probably 30 miles away.  Not a lot by today's standards.  You pretty much have to drive 30 miles or 30 minutes to get anywhere you wanna go.  

But during a time when 30 miles meant "long distance," "new school," and BFFs. 

Facebook didn't exist.  Cell phones were actually carried around in their own bags and not a given for most families in Iowa.

30 years ago, 30 miles may as well have been a million.

But today, as I think about what is missing, 30 years feels like yesterday.

And yet I still feel connected.

A bond that was unique to childhood BFFs will always belong to childhood BFFs.  I know that today because I can't drink my coffee and read the paper without wondering...."is something missing?"

I'm thankful today for facebook, the world-wide-web, the community that can be created virtually. 

But I'm also thankful for the times when we were kids.  When every moment could not be captured by the lens of a camera, but only by the lens of the mind. A time that can not be recreated. 

A time when "fire sisters" was not a term relegated to pyromaniacs, but just friends who stood outside a stable wanting to have an official initiation into a club that could never again be recreated. 

A time for me, as mama, hope that my own kids will have with their own childhood BFFs.  Not one that was captured by camera, by status update, or by cellphone.

But a time that can only truly be remembered because of the heart.  

A bond between childhood BFFs. 

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