This weekend I had dinner with two friends that I haven't seen in eighteen years!
My father was in the Air Force, so we moved quite a bit when I was young. Of all the moves, the toughest one for me was leaving Alexandria, Louisiana in 1990, the summer between 7th and 8th grades.
You see, for the first time in my life I had real friends. Not the kind of friends that liked the same My Little Pony toys as me or showed up to play dates arranged by my mom, but real friends. I had a group of friends that I loved hanging out with... friends I had chosen for myself... friends I could tell secrets to. And we were finally old enough to walk to each other's houses after school or stay up late at slumber parties.
And then I moved... boy did it suck leaving all that behind to be the "new girl" in eighth grade.
My Louisiana friends and I promised to keep in touch, but that's a tough promise for a twelve-year-old to keep, so it wasn't long before we lost contact altogether... until Facebook intervened and we reconnected a few months ago.
And it turns out one of them lives in Portland, and another is seriously considering moving to Portland sometime soon.
So Becky and Linda and I met up for dinner downtown this weekend and it was a blast!
Of course we were nervous that we wouldn't have anything in common. A lot changes between seventh grade and adulthood, and we had no way of knowing in what direction each of our lives had gone during the past eighteen years.
But after a few hours of laughing, reminiscing, and catching up on each other's lives, here's what we decided: some things never change, and the things that make you choose your friends when you're twelve are the SAME things you look for in a friend when you're thirty.
It just reaffirms my belief that we start out as wise as we'll ever get, and that children really do have all the answers.