Old friends are the best!

Growing up, I was the oldest kid in my neighborhood by a couple of years.  There were only a few other families with kids around as we lived in an older neighborhood.  A couple of kids were three years younger than me, a couple were five or six years younger than me, one was nine years younger than me.  The closest kid my age – my best and oldest friend, and my maid of honor both times I was married, she is awesome – lived three and a half blocks down the street.  While that wasn’t exactly far away, the situation didn’t exactly lend itself to easy visitation, either.

After my mom passed away, my dad used some of the life insurance money to replace our sidewalk (which really wasn’t sidewalk so much anymore as it was part of the yard) and to build a garage.  One day when I was eleven, my sister and I and the aforementioned best friend were riding our bikes around the newly-poured driveway and garage foundation (the garage had not yet been built).  One of the neighbor kids wandered over and wanted to play with us.  She and my sister were pretty good friends, even though my sister is four years older.  My sister has a talent for making friends – I think she was good friends with every kid in our neighborhood at one point or another.

Anyway, we decided that we didn’t want to play with her that day.  As a rule, I never wanted to play with this particular girl as she always kind of got on my nerves.  But how many people always love all their siblings’ friends?  Anyway, since we didn’t want to play with her, we told her to go home.

BFF, New Girl, Bride of Tomorrow!, and moi – aka Trouble, as we were known back in the day – at Tiny Neighbor Girl’s wedding
Photo courtesy of Kay Kauffman

This didn’t go over very well.  At all.  Lead balloons have been more successful.  As I recall, she refused to leave and we insisted she go home.  Finally, tears streaming down her face and her voice shaking, she screamed, “I’m gonna get my big sister and she’s gonna beat you up cuz she’s bigger than you and she’s older than you!” before she turned tail and ran for home.

The three of us looked at each other and laughed.  I’m pretty sure someone said, “Yeah, okay.”  I’m certain someone said, “What are you talking about?  You don’t have a sister!”  As far as we knew, she didn’t.  She lived with her parents and older brother down the street and around the corner from us (or, in the alternative, across our respective backyards because, let’s face it – even as kids, we were lazy and that way was faster).  But a few minutes later, smug and sniffling, Tiny Neighbor Girl returned, accompanied by a girl my age on a bike.

“What’s going on?” New Girl asked.  I explained the situation.  She turned to Tiny Neighbor Girl and said, “Sorry, Sis, there’s nothing I can do.  It’s their house.  If they don’t wanna play with you, they don’t have to.”

Tiny Neighbor Girl sniffled.

“Do you wanna play with us?” I asked New Girl.

“Okay!”

Tiny Neighbor Girl went into orbit.  New Girl and I have been best friends ever since.

(c) 2012.  All rights reserved.

5 thoughts on “Old friends are the best!

    • Kay Kauffman says:

      I tagged the three of them in it when I posted it to Facebook and we spent all night rehashing childhood exploits. Funny how one memory can trigger a cascade effect, isn’t it? New Girl and I ended up on the phone for half an hour planning out an epic rehash the next time she’s in town.

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