It’s kind of crazy that I was just writing about friendship last week when I got a message from my old pal (and elementary school fiance’) Ari asking if we would like to join him and one of my dear high school BFFs for a day at The Museum of Aviation. Um. Yes. Duh. What time?
Ari and Anna were two of my very good friends in high school. Ari and I go WAY back to literally learning how to speak in speech therapy at elementary school. I knew Anna as a kid, but we didn’t become super good friends until my mom forced me to stop hanging out with the bad kids in middle school. Luckily, the good kids were also entertaining.
It was so awesomely strange to see our children hanging out. Anna and Ari live near each other, so their kids are already pretty good friends, but Jack really did just jump right in. They all played so well. Royce and Jack would say, “Come on, Jack! Come on, Royce!” and follow each other around searching for a new adventure like they’d been a team for years. Aubrey is the GIRLIEST little thing, swaying her hair and putting her hand on her hip as she points to everyone making sure we have her attention. “Okay. Ready?!” she’d say. Her enthusiasm reminded me so much of her mother. Bright eyed and confident. I was telling my mom how well they got along and she reminded me that the three of US got along very well as kids so it shouldn’t be a surprise. Wow. I knew Anna and Ari around the same ages. That just kind of blows my mind.
The kids were great, but it’s also good to be around people who know you so deeply. Even though I don’t see them very often, I haven’t changed who I am, and they know it. I never have to be anything but myself even after all of these years. Anna and I always joke when we get together that we just always seem to pick back up where we left off. Yesterday, she said it’s like we hit pause…don’t see each other for 6 months to a year and then press play again.
Anna’s husband, Russ, has always been Anna’s boyfriend, Anna’s fiance’, Anna’s husband to me, but as I reminisced of our day, I realized that he’s been in Anna’s life for so long that he is practically a person from my childhood. He certainly knew me long before I was a responsible (ish) adult with two kids and a minivan. We’ve always gotten along so well and I think it’s because Anna and I are ridiculously similar people. She thinks I’m weird, but she’s weird too. She just doesn’t broadcast it to the world like I do.
It is so fascinating to see Anna and Ari as parents. Their kids are so well behaved and so obviously loved and it isn’t like it’s surprising. I wouldn’t expect anything less. But when you get to actually see your friend be a parent, be a spouse, be a partner to someone, it reminds you that you’re all grown up. I am proud of my friends and who they’ve all turned out to be.
After the museum, we were going to go to Outback and Aubrey decides she wants to ride in the van with us. This in itself overjoyed me ridiculous amounts. Anyway, the moment I truly realized what amazing parents she has is when she was answering a few questions in the van. You know…small talk. So I ask her what her favorite show is totally expecting Doc McStuffins or Peppa Pig or Sophia the First. She’s SO girly after all. Y’all. This perfect little human looks me dead in the face….
“What?” I asked.
I am searching my brain for girl shows on Disney and Nick Jr. I swear she just said Frasier. What kid show sounds like Frasier?
I asked again, “Like Frasier Crane?”
She’s looking at me like I’m an idiot. Of course she likes Frasier. She’s a three-year-old independent woman who appreciates the arts and quiet sarcasm.
I texted Anna to confirm. Yep. They watch Frasier all the time. Wow.
Between Aubrey’s love for 1990’s sitcoms and Royce’s request to go to museums for his birthday weekend I’m feeling like Jack is in some pretty cool company.
To top it all off with a nice whopping scoop of adult-ness, we all walked out of Outback because it took 30 minutes to seat us in a half empty restaurant and another 30 minutes to not even get our drinks and we just don’t put up with that because we are GROWN now. As we all drove off with our own little family units, feeling like total badasses for not accepting poor service because #merica, I looked forward to three things: My cheeseburger from McDonald’s, the inevitable nap my children would take because of their exciting day, and being able to “press play” again the next time that I get to sporadically see my friends
Happy Birthday, Royce.