Jessie has been my friend since 2nd grade. We were 8 years old. I moved to Pewaukee and Jessie was in my class. She had brought a flat rock and a round rock to school. It was told that these rocks were used to grind corn into cornmeal for making cornbread by the Native Americans. I immediately wondered what kind of amazing place this girl lived that she could wander around and find Native American artifacts in her yard. I had lived in the middle of the Minneapolis suburbs before moving to Pewaukee – none of my classmates had ever found real artifacts in their yard before. We actually used it to grind stuff (I don’t remember what we were grinding) and then walked over to the Home Ec lab at the high school to bake corn bread. And I’ve always loved corn bread.
I didn’t know that day and never dreamed that we’d be in our thirties with 7 kids between us, married, grown up and living our lives. I never dreamed that our first borns would both be girls, barely more than 2 months apart who enjoy each other’s company more than any other. I never dreamed that our girls would become best friends, separated by more than 200 miles.
A recent visit with 6 of our collective kids revealed (finally) some time for us to sit and chat after all of the kids had gone to bed. We reminisced and laughed and talked. Jessie’s mom joined us and we told our stories and listened to hers. There was even a revelation of a near-miss speeding ticket that had both my head and Jessie’s spinning and gave her mom quite a laugh years later.
I remarked about how close Ivy and Natalie are, despite the miles that separate us. The miles and the many friends and acquaintances both very social girls have made over the years who live geographically a lot closer. Mary said, “Don’t you think that they feel it from you girls? Your friendship?” And, maybe they do. Whatever the reason, I feel blessed to still call Jessie my friend and to watch Natalie play, laugh and pretend until she’s so tired that she is reduced to tears at the kitchen table – because I’ve been there before, too. (Maybe she’ll hold it together longer when she discovers the wonders of caffeine).