Next Door Memories

30-some years ago one of my best friends moved to a town 30 miles away. I have this dream-like memory of looking out our apartment window, and seeing a for-sale sign in the yard and being so sad. This was in my pre-school years, so it very well could have been a dream I had much later. Let’s all have a moment of silence for the melancholy of childhood disappointments anyway.

I have warm memories (impressions?) of that little brick ranch house. Her parents had donuts for breakfast one time – and I ate one. Her step-dad played the electric guitar, man. Such sound! This was not the soundtrack to Oliver! that I played in my apartment. Her mom wore Dior Poison perfume and really cool jeans. Although I was super-young, I have memories of being welcomed, teased, and loved.

Here’s us getting our games on at another awesome friends birthday party:

Photo-of-us

Look. At. Her. Red. Pants.

The toddler is coming up on those years. The ones he might not exactly remember, but ones I want blanketing him in that same kind of general warm-fuzziness. Safety, security, a sense of “you belong here.” He already asks for our four closest neighborhood children, and tacks himself on freely to their games. He recognizes their voices when he hears them from inside. We will stay in touch with these neighbors, whom we adore, but it won’t be the same.

I am so lucky in life, that I know that we will find this sort of community in our new home. I always have. (Disclaimer: Things still in progress; “new home” might not be the one we are having inspected next week. But prolly.) Maybe this knowledge (hubris?) goes all the way back to when I was teeny-tiny, and people showed me right-off that I belong. It’s still sad making the change when you know what special is, and you know you’ve got it.

My friend and I remained in touch through our childhood. Overnights, birthdays, a few letters. Choreographed dances to Madonna’s True Blue cassette tape. We fell out of touch when our early adult years came. Then after the toddler was born, she came to an open house at my parents’ place.

And guess what, you guys? She is so awesome!

She and I have the same title: Boss, at Stay at Home Mom. Actually, she gave me that title when I was floundering with writing my new job description. She’s surly, and funny, and I still want to be her friend! I wish our kids could live next door to us. But they’re, like, 12 hours away.

And today they’re coming for lunch. I’ve been up for more than two hours giggling about it. I had to tell someone.

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7 Responses to Next Door Memories

  1. Mom says:

    Give her a hug from me.

  2. Catherine says:

    I had the ranch pictured in my head before you mentioned it. I remember her and the fact that she had a step-father (not too many kids I knew did) but not the actual guy. I remember she had some spunk and some sass, and I bet she’s a hell of a friend to have on your side. And I’m sure that the birthday party pictured had perhaps coolest attendees and honoree in the history of birthday parties. Could that have been a tiger-hunt party? Good lunch to you ladies.

    • alanajoyski says:

      It’s so funny what sticks in your childhood brain, eh?

      I was thinkin pin the tail on the donkey at your party. I think there’s another polaroid somewhere with blindfolds taken soon after this one.

      • Catherine says:

        That image sticks in my brain too. I’m not sure if there’s a photo. If there is I’ll have Adauto scan it. Maybe you should remind me to look …

      • alanajoyski says:

        Hey. Go look for that photo. (I cld actually get it from my parents.)

  3. Catherine says:

    I must remember that pic from your photo albums. It doesn’t appear in mine. Maybe your mom was at the party too?

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