Thursday, May 7, 2009

Keep the Old

On our almost last day in NJ, we drove up north to have a picnic with my friend Jill and her kids, Nick and Cassie. Nick came with a full arsenal of nerf guns so fun was had by all. After we visited for a while, Jill mentioned that her younger brother, Dave, was going to stop by as well.

I haven't seen Dave since a brief hour or two my senior year of college. And even before then it had been pretty sparse. Dave and I became friends I guess around age nine or so. But not really until middle school. We lived a good hour apart, but managed to hang out a fair amount, still. It was ancient times, of course, so we wrote letters to stay in touch, every one of which I still have.

I was reading them a couple of years ago. I unfolded each carefully and when Todd asked what I was reading, I said "I'm looking at the love and friendship of a 13 year old boy."

Dave and I are about as different as two friends could be. I love being around people. He goes out of his way to avoid them. And that is just the tippy top of a whole entire iceberg of differences. When we were kids, Dave and I communicated mostly through tackling one another. Despite our differences, though, Dave was a constant sort of friend through all the changes which came through middle school, high school, and college.

In fact, I remember one very important night. His sister, Jill, and I had driven from WY to NJ in two days. We stumbled into her parents' house late in the afternoon and my only plan was to sleep until the following morning. I was particularly nervous, though, because the following day I would be seeing my boyfriend. We had dated all of my freshman year of college and spent a rotten summer apart. I wasn't sure how things were going to be. He'd pulled back a little from me that summer and I was terrified that he had decided I wasn"t worth it. I lay in bed tossing and turning in the darkness. Dave came in at some point and lay down next to me and asked what was wrong. When I told him, he said, "If he doesn't still love you, than he's an idiot and I'll knock his block off." I knew it was an overly simplistic view of the matter, but right then it was all I needed to hear. And with that I cuddled into Dave and fell asleep.

Last week, after nearly 12 years since last we saw one another, when Dave stepped out of his car, I ran across the grass, jumped up in the air, and threw my arms around him to say hello. And Dave, even though we haven't spoken in all that time, caught me up and swung me if I didn't weigh 50 lbs more, have four kids, a husband, a house, and a minivan. For about 20 seconds, I was 13 years old again. And while definitely not my favorite age, he was certainly a favorite part.

On with the show, though! Picnic pictures: Mr. Zero Percent Body Fat was so cold that he borrowed my field hockey hoodie from me. Poor guy.

A motley crew indeed.

Even scarier. Though made slightly less so by Cassie's bunny ears.

Me and Dave and Cassie's bunny ears.

Mmmmm. Fooooooood. Nothing like hot dogs fresh of the grill on a chilly day.

No comments: