Thursday, April 5, 2012

Ghosts With Blue-Green Eyes

Today, I had an extraordinary opportunity.  I got to see a woman who I first met when we were both 5 years old.  Kindergarten.

She was always slightly quicker on the draw in "find the word in the dictionary" games, and waaay ahead of me in multiplication tables.  One thing that helped take the edge off of my defeat was her friendly smile.  She had a lovely, un-selfconscious smile. Her eyes were this kind of sea green with sky blue around the edges.

I haven't looked into those eyes for ... a good long while.  Junior high graduation, I think.

Today, I saw her and her two youngest kiddos.  And WOW if I didn't see THREE pairs of those eyes!  It was weird, seeing her there.  I remember her as the skinny little tomboy who could ALWAYS beat me in math quizzes.  (Not that it's setting the bar too high, really.)  I saw her now, lovely, long blonde hair, nice smile.  But overlaid on top, I saw the other her.  The kid.  The gawky "elbows and knees" her.

And you know what? The present-day her is even better.  We're both moms.  She's got bigger pile of kids than I do (much bigger), and one more husband, but we're the same age.  I'm one month and 2 days older.

But it's awesome to be grown up.

1 comment:

Karen said...

Oh, Kate ~ the Great, you are just as sweet as ever! I remember our grade school days soooo differently... I definitely was all knees and elbows. That, I cannot deny. But, I surely would have remembered besting you in math OR with my mad dictionary skills! I do recall my wasted flute gift painfully, though. I remember giving you a run for your money for first chair, first flute up until 8th grade graduation. It's embarrassing to admit, but only made worse by my dirty little secret. I couldn't have cared less. *duck* I liked the challenge all the way around ~ how long could I actually continue playing without ever actually TOUCHING the flute outside of Mr. Wallin's band room, how many weeks could I get away with faking my practice card and SIGNING MY MOTHER'S NAME EACH WEEK, and how long would it really take for Mr Wallin and his strange mustache to figure out that I had zero passion for my instrument and seriously resented him for letting Barb and her cool scoliosis brace play the drums and THAT'S where I really wanted to be!! That, or the saxophone section. Damn him!!

Whew. Cathartic.

But, I also have to confess, your passion for music ~ and your possession of a piccolo, may have done me in from the beginning. I, with my wasted natural talent, recognized in you the true love, passion and commitment to your music. And I apologize for being a thorn in your side. I saw how annoyed you were, even at our young age, that an interloper like me would muddy up our lessons with my lack of passion for music.

I suck.

But, apparently, I ROCK at speed dictionary use! Look how well that's done for me in real life!!

Thank you for your kindness, your generosity, your sweet nature, and most of all, for the opportunity to connect with you yesterday. We really ARE pretty freaking amazing adults! I am honored to still be able to claim you as a friend, you wonderful woman!! Your children and your husband are blessed to have you in their lives ♥