A childhood friend called me last night to reminisce.
She was all wrapped in a blanket, sitting in a lawn chair at our hometown football field watching her son practice.
It reminded her of when our younger brothers played football on that same field. We’d tag along to practices since our dads also coached. It really didn’t seem like that long ago that we were just young girls, chasing each other around on the sidelines.
She has three boys now, the oldest is about to turn 11. Did that make her old? Not at all, I told her, because if she was old then I was, too. After all, she’s only seven weeks and two days older than me.
Even today, we remember each other’s birthdays. We make sure to call, too. I guess that’s what happens when two neighborhood girls grow up at the same age together. You become less like friends and more like sisters.
A while ago I found an ancient birthday party photo. Both of us girls were sitting on a statue of Ronald McDonald’s lap, while another girl from our class sat atop his head. Our brothers laughed in the background. I think we were in kindergarten. We both had bangs and our outfits screamed ’90s style.
Looking back at that picture now is surreal, especially since our own children are in that stage of life. I can see how much the younger me resembles my two-year-old daughter. Same with my friend and the resemblance to her young boys. I look a lot like my mother, and she a lot like her father. Both have since passed on much too young.
We realized that in 20 years, our kids may be having the same conversations with their own childhood friends. They’ll talk about the memories of all the yesterdays, and about feeling old once adult responsibilities somehow speed up the hands of time and capture their youth before they know it.
Just like that, their lives will no longer be as simple. They won’t be running through the football fields so freely forever. Someday they’ll have a job, relationships and complications that they could never have comprehended.
Hopefully they get the satisfaction of seeing it all come full circle as my friend and I have, and come to appreciate the fact that even if we are “old,” we don’t have to admit it quite yet.
Brielle Bredsten is the editor of the Aitkin Independent Age.