Once upon a time, 1973 to be exact, there were two little girls. They both lived in Temperance, Michigan and they were both embarking on a big adventure…Kindergarten! They both were in Mrs. Hamilton’s class at Jackman Road Elementary School.
That’s about where their similarities ended. One was full of confidence, ready to take on the world, a leader, some would say, bossy, others would say. The other was quiet, nervous, hide-under-the-table shy. That leader (ahem, bossy one) was me. The other girl was Donna.
Somehow, probably because of my bossiness and the fact that I wouldn’t let her stay under the table, Donna and I became best friends although we had nothing in common. She was your stereotypical tomboy and I was all girl. Evidence of those traits in both of us is obvious in this picture from the fourth grade. We were flowers in the school’s production of The Nutcracker. Yup, that’s me, giddy with excitement and there’s Donna mortified over the whole tutu and tights ordeal!
She liked cars, I liked boys. She liked Kenny Rogers, I liked, well…boys.
But our friendship flourished. I remember we planned on growing up and owning a horse farm together. Then puberty set in. She still liked cars (as far as I could tell) and I really, really liked boys! And so, we drifted apart. We never had a fight or said, “I’m not going to be your friend anymore.” We just drifted apart.
I went off to college, she had a job working on cars. Something she loved. That’s the last I heard from or about Donna for awhile. Sometime in the early ’90s I heard she got married and had children (I think our moms may have gotten together, don’t remember how I knew). We saw each other once, though I can’t remember when.
Fast-forward to 2009. I joined Facebook on May 26, 2009. The only reason I joined was so I could enter a contest to win a new kitchen. But I soon found out how much fun it is. Granted, it can be a huge time-waster, but the benefits far outweigh the unfolded laundry that has resulted due to my membership.
Less than a month later, I had a friend request from Donna. I recognized her name right away and confirmed her as a friend. When I saw her profile picture, I thought it was a case of mistaken identity. She looks so different from that brown haired girl who was so disgusted about wearing a tutu! As I began to read through her news feed, I began to realize we have so much more in common than we ever did before. We both got married, though, sadly she is a widow, we both have children, we’re both stay-at-home moms, we both enjoy volunteer work. She hasn’t just come out of her shell, she shattered it.
So, today, we met for lunch. We invited our moms, too, because they had been such good friends when we were kids. We enjoyed a leisurely two-hour lunch (cut short because of other demands on our time) and I hope we can do it again!
Maybe, those kindergarten girls saw something in each other–a connection–that puberty blurred but adulthood brings back into focus. And without the wonder that is Facebook, we would never have known!
(Incidentally, I’ve also reconnected with my roommate from Adrian College, Becky, and another good friend from college, Karen, since joining. Turns out Karen’s brother lives on the street behind me! Once we reconnected, she stopped over for a surprise visit while in town seeing him.)