Saturday, July 12, 2008

Circle of friends

When I was in second grade, I switched schools to attend the local Catholic school (St. Mary's Escondido). Within that first week I found what would become my best friend for life: Jennifer Costa (now Lyons). That's her, looking proper in her cardigan with her cute braids, and that's me behind her, no doubt acting obnoxious and looking somewhat disheveled. This was a pattern that would continue for far too many years. Not only was Jennifer in my class, but it turned out that she lived in my neighborhood, too. Jennifer was an only child, and since Sara was almost seven years older than me, I spent several years almost as an only child, too. We were inseparable. We spent each birthday with each other, instead of having parties; we wrote and acted out plays (much to our later motification); we set up elaborate games of house among the giant boulders of her yard; and we were simultaneously obsessed with Anne of Green Gables.

Even though I went away to college and never moved back, we've always been on the same page of life. We married within nine months of each other, and now we're experiencing motherhood together: our first children, both daughters, were born a mere seven months apart, which happens to be how far apart Jen and I are in age. As Anne would say, we're kindred spirits.

Today was one of a growing line of playdates between our kids. It's so fun to see this next generation grow in friendship. (The picture above has Colleen (4) on the left and Kelsey (almost 6) on the right.) The toys may be different (although with the return of Cabbage Patch Kids and Strawberry Shortcake, not that dissimilar), but the spirit is the same. As Jennifer told Kelsey the other day, she has a friend for life in Clare. That's one of the coolest things about girlfriends.

Here's one last memory lane photo, from high school graduation. It reminds me how loyal and sweet Jennifer always has been, and still is!