There were no tears at graduation. We were confident that we would keep up with each other and be just as much involved as we had been over the last two years of our lives together. In what seems like the blink of an eye (19 years) we had married, traveled, settled and had children. We had lived thousands of miles apart and at times only a stones throw away from one another. Yet we had never so much as sent a wedding announcement or birth announcement to one another. I had no idea whether we would have remained the same or morphed in ways that would render us unrecognizable.
We found each other a few weeks ago. After sorting through my ‘junk mail’ I came across the school newsletter. My heart raced as I read the updates of my two best friends from back in the day. They were looking to find us again. It was only minutes before we were on the phone planning our re-connect.
Our friendship was born out of circumstance. In its most embryonic state the ties that would bind us were those of survival. At fifteen and sixteen years of age we were not completely weaned. Still wet behind the ears and on unfamiliar terrain we would need to learn to exist without the proximity of our natural families. I needed someone to provide the essentials for survival… a sense of nurture, belonging and protection. I found these elements in two girls.
To say we liked one another or got along would be too simplistic; we relied on each other. As study partners, counselors, and confidants our friendship grew from a state of necessity to a more evolved state of shared experiences and occasions, now considered memories. We played and partied together, strengthening our bond and discovering cosmic commonalities. Three Scorpios destined to share a sense of humor and an outlook on life. More often than not when reading the ‘shout-outs’ from other classmates in our yearbook we are referred to as one. A solid unit. “M, C, & S….let’s keep in touch.” As if we were connected at the hip.
So this past week, with six children among us, we assembled only to discover that we still had more in common than not. I worried that my children would cling to one another or worse yet, to me, unable to make friendship on demand or on such short notice. Amazingly, our children played together in what can only be described as harmony. They collected oodles of doodle bugs, explored, created works of art and conspired in mutual naughtiness. At one point emptying an enormous bowl of popcorn, kernel by kernel on to the living room floor and dancing it into the carpet. With our best mommy faces on we wrangled them to see who was the ring leader. They stood solid, no one would rat out the other.
One by one we departed and soon I was back to my reality. At home, a wife and a mom. A familiar and comfortable environment but with an unidentifiable feeling. It was something I had experienced before-way back in the day-it was homesickness. The feeling will ease and in the meantime we will invent ways to come together again soon.
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