Every Wednesday night I have the notion that I’m back in 7th grade all over again. Actually, maybe it’s that I have a bout of nausea.
Our youth group, the one in which I have been a junior high leader for the better part of a decade, meets at the same middle school that I attended 20 years ago. Every time I walk down those halls the memories of mean girls whispering behind my back and stupid boys pulling bra straps (or lack thereof – OH MY GOSH! HOW DID I SURVIVE?) come flooding back to me.
I hated middle school. Hated, hated, hated it.
Monday-Friday, that is.
On the weekends, I loved being in middle school. I got to hang out with my best friend, Shanda, who didn’t go to my school but our families went to the same church.
Shanda made 7th and 8th grade bearable because she was a friend to me, no matter what. She made me laugh like no one else as we walked in our jean jackets and white Reebok high tops (with slouchy socks) to People’s Drug and Jerry’s Sub Shop and ate junk food and took goofy pictures with our disk cameras. Do you remember those things? You’d take 15 pictures, then pay for 15 of the worst pictures you’d ever seen. But we’d laugh at them anyway. It was a wonderful friendship.
Shanda’s family moved away during the summer before my sophomore year of high school and I missed her so much.
We kept in touch, though, and our friendship grew over the years as we both went on to live out the rest of high school and college. We met our future husbands around the same time and walked down the aisle five months apart.
She married a musician and so did I. Her husband just happens to be a full-time minister and mine just happens to design software when he’s not playing guitar.
She wanted children right away and so did I. She went through infertility and so did I. She adopted and so did I.
To say the least, we have bonded over the miles.
Our friendship, it runs deep.
Oh, did I write all of that and forget to mention that she is flying in all the way from Oklahoma to visit me? SQUEAL! I will pick her up from the airport tomorrow afternoon and for the next several days we’ll be talking non-stop and catching up and laughing.
And probably eating some junk food and taking some goofy pictures.
Followed by quite a bit of continuous laughter. Just like in middle school.
I had to strike that. The nausea. I’m sure you understand.