penny in a castle

A digital chapbook.

 Bosom Buddies

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Do you believe in love at first sight?

What about friends at first sight?

I think that there are some people who do become friends from the instant that they meet.  They fall hard into friendship, and stay that way.  They may drift apart from time to time over the years, but you know that as soon as they get back together, it will be as if they have never been apart.  They will talk, laugh and be silent comfortably in each others’ company, even as the years go by.

In her book Anne of Green Gables, L.M. Montgomery’s spunky red haired girl had a term for this. Kindred spirits. She always knew them when she met them – whether they were an iron-grey old bachelor or a sunny school chum.

My daughter met a kindred spirit a couple of weeks ago.

We were at a reunion with my husband’s family. It was at a park held in a city a many hours drive from where we live.  It was a beautiful day to play in the shadows of the trees. There were many cousins of all ages there, running amuck.

My kids decided they wanted to play in the wading pool.  It was huge, filled with children playing and screaming. It was hard to keep track of all three, so I kept my attention on the youngest, who was most likely to run into trouble.

When I turned my attention back to my daughter, I noticed she had engaged in a game with a couple of other kids. At first I thought they were her cousins but then realized it was a strange girl of about the same age, and two younger boys.  They were playing some kind of chasing game – running in and out of the water, splashing and diving.

Later, I called the kids out for dinner.  We sat and ate a potluck dinner – breaking bread with relatives who were normally far flung.  As soon as he finished his last mouthful, my youngest again took off – towards the play structure this time.  My two other kids soon followed.  Full from eating, I sauntered over more slowly to watch and make sure no one broke anything.  Soon I noticed my daughter was playing again with this stranger girl.  They got along like the proverbial house on fire. They were giggling and talking a mile a minute.  They dared each other to climb higher and jump farther.  This time, I noticed the father standing close by.  He was a huge burly man.  What was left of his hair was red. His skin was sun-burnt and tattooed.  He had a wide smile. He looked like the most cheerful biker I had ever seen – and clearly adored his children. He spoke a bit to me, yelled at his kids (like I do on a regular basis). It turned out the girl was my daughters’ age and in the same grade. She had an unusual name – something the parents had invented.  He had two twin boys the same age as my youngest son.

Soon, the two girls were begging to go back into the pool to play the same game they had been earlier.  My daughter told me “It’s called mermaids and she made it up. It’s super fun.”  So we all trouped back over to the pool and the girls started diving like dolphins again.

As the sun set, the lifeguards started to collect water toys and shut down the pool.  The stranger girl begged her father to have a play date with my daughter.  It was so hard to say no, but we live so far away and we are only here for the day.  Both girls wanted to exchange email addresses and phone numbers – so that they could visit if we came back to town. The girl’s father said, “Not today.  But if you meet again someday, you will know it was meant to be.”

And someday they just might.

I have a feeling if they do, they will talk about that day in the park, when they were two mermaids who had found themselves swimming together in an ocean of children.

Just as we parted ways I took a picture of the two of them – smiling, arms draped over each others’ shoulders – just  in case they do.

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Written by pennyinacastle

July 17, 2015 at 3:01 am

Posted in Random thoughts

Tagged with ,

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