Friday, May 19, 2006

Julie Harris

When I was four, I met Julie Harris. We happened to be at the same park, wearing the same blue and red saddle shoes (not that it makes it okay, but it was the mid-70's) and that was all it took. We glued ourselves together.

We went to preschool at the same place, we had sleepovers. I have a distinct memory of her kitchen, and eating King Vitamin cereal there, which my mom would never have allowed. There is a vivid picture in my head of the two of us sitting on a two-person swing in my back yard, our blue and red shoes sharing the footrest.

When I was six, Julie moved to Kansas City. We wrote letters for several years, but gradually lost touch. She was my first best friend.

WonderGirl and her own first best friends are getting ready to leave the daycare/preschool they've attended for four years. They're all going to different schools next year - not exactly moving to Kansas City, but it seems comparable right now. Yesterday the school held a "bridging ceremony" and each child walked across a tiny stage to get a certificate in front of approximately 1.7 cameras per parent in attendance. Today, WonderGirl's class is putting on a play for the parents that they've been working on for weeks. They've built a set, memorized lines, tried to remember not to argue over who eats which pretend food during the picnic scene and practiced making quick, elaborate costume changes between bits. The kids are exhausted from practicing and performing for the other classes at the school; their typical classroom routine is shot and everyone is edgy. It has been an emotional week for them, to put it simply.

The parents, however, seem to be faring worse. We have spent four years together, too. We've watched our babies grow up and second babies be born. We've started listing each other on the "emergency contact" section of forms since no one has family in town. We've shared birthday parties and grown-up parties. At the bridging ceremony, the kids were having fun using their diplomas as telescopes; the parents were busy choking up. I'm sure we all have a Julie Harris in our pasts; we know what might be ending now. I know that WonderGirl will make new friends in her new school, but I also know that if she loses touch with her current friends, I'll have lost as much, if not more, than she has.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.