Thursday, December 22, 2011

Reunited and it feels so good

Every December, mini-me gets to reconnect with her oldest friend. Her oldest friend happens to be the daughter of my Big Susan, M.  I know that M and I will always be friends. Parenting toddlers brought us together but it’s not what keeps us friends.  We talk virtually every night, we talk about everything. We are very different.

Mini-me and her friend K are very different, too.  While we refer to both of them as our “square pegs”, they are dorks in different ways. Mini-me is very earnest in her approach to things, wildly extroverted, tries to fit in but is reasonably comfortable in her own, slightly nerdy skin.  K is a quieter sort, amazingly observant of all that is going on around her, cautious of what she doesn’t know, a techno-geek (like her mom) and the most stubborn person I’ve ever met – children and adults included.

I don’t know if they will be Big Susan to one another – time will tell.  I do know that mini-me relishes their visits. She equates sadness with missing people who aren’t around her, including K.  Mini-me loves to talk on the phone (a fabulous trait she inherited from moi) but K doesn’t share that appreciation so their conversations are pretty one-sided and short. But mini-me tries.

Dork Pile
Their initial reconnection is exactly the same every time. Mini-me is wildly excited, flailing about and needing to hug and squeeze K – girl squeals are often involved. K is excited, too – I can see it in her face but her approach is more cautious. She has to be sure that this is indeed, her old friend. Once confirmed, her face lights up, she laughs and joins the squealing. Laughter ensues and they begin to find their place beside each other again.

M and I often wonder if they will forget one another or be unable to relate because they only see each other twice a year.  The chaos of holiday visits doesn’t always lend itself to the kind of reconnection that we believe friends need. 

When they were wee ones, they liked the same things – fairies, the toy kitchen, princesses, Dora.  But as they have grown and their personalities develop (oh, they are so far from being fully formed) they have developed distinct and different interests.  Mini-me remains devoted to horses and was thrilled that K got to see her ride.  K is way more technologically advanced and was able to show mini-me lots of games on the DS.  Mini-me is more physically adventurous but it makes K curious enough to try. Sometimes.  K follows the rules better than most kids I know and while mini-me gets the rules and is pretty damn good at following them, I do recognize that she sees some as mere suggestions.

Still, the reconnection makes me a bit nervous. Will they still like each other?  Will they still be friends?  You see, I know that as life changes and our daily routine takes us in different directions we may drift away from friends. It’s not that we stop being friends – it’s just different.  And sometimes, there is a period of adjustment where you have to become comfortable with one another again. It may take just a few minutes but it’s there.  I know as an adult that I can manage this but I worry for two seven-year olds.

Asleep at Last
Clearly, I was worried for nothing. Mini-me and K laughed, shrieked, chased, hugged, whispered and loved.  Like all friendships involving 7-year old girls, it’s full of drama but I’m thrilled it’s the typical drama of good friends.  K helped mini-me light the menorah, they opened gifts, they shared a bath and despite having a trundle – they preferred to share a bed. 

Sometimes, the more things change the more they stay the same. And sometimes, that is a good thing.

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