I remember when I was younger, my Grandma (on my dad’s side) would ask all about my friends. When I was having a birthday party for friends, she always asked who I was inviting and tried to remember the girls from when she may have seen them at our house in the past.
My Grandma passed away last year, and left a diary to me. In that diary, she wrote about all of her time spent with my brother and I while we were growing up. She loved writing and keeping records and dates of things that had happened in the past. I even remember her having a paper calendar in their kitchen with so many notes scribbled on each small square. I would read them and question what some things meant when I was younger. She would write important things, such as birthdays, and other things that were not so important such as, “Seinfeld – funny episode” or “Letterman Top 10 List”…hilarious.
I remember telling her on many occasions that our close knit group of friends would be friends forever. Oh, what a term! Even as the years went by, and my group of friends changed, I still felt so strongly that I would remain friends forever with at least some of them, and that we would always be a big part of each other’s lives. My Grandma was less than encouraging when I told her this! I remember her saying on many occasions, “You’ll see Melissa, things will be different when you are all adults – you won’t be as close as you think”…this made me SO upset. And because of that, I was more motivated than ever to beat the odds with my group of friends.
My Grandma is probably laughing at me up in heaven. I mean, it’s not that I don’t have any friends. But I’ve learned that as you get older and get into your adult years, get married, have kids, etc, the time that you have to call your own and devote to outside friends is few and far between. That’s life, but that doesn’t make the reality of it suck any less.
The movie Now & Then is one of my favorite movies. It came out at the perfect time for my group of friends and I (1995 – and I just realized that was more than 20 years ago – I feel older by the minute these days). We all tried to pick someone in the movie that we could relate to or looked like, and we would channel that girl. In the movie, when they fast-forward as adults, Chrissy is pregnant and goes into labor. I don’t know why, but it always stuck with me that the three other girls were all in the room while she was giving birth (nevermind that one of them was a doctor or that they all just happened to be in town at that time). I always wanted that for my friendships. I wanted them to last. I wanted all of us to live in a cul-de-sac in a small town and watch our kids grow up together and become the same kind of friends. Hahaha, I was SO dumb and young.
I even thought about it as I was in labor with my daughter. Don’t get me wrong, my husband was great and all that I needed at that time. And maybe it’s just part of growing up. What I failed to realize in the movie (the movie that is not real life – I have to keep reminding myself of this) is that these women probably all went their separate ways and just HAPPENED to be back for one big event. I’m sure they didn’t gab on the phone every day and see each other every month, let alone every year. So goes the term, adulting.
I mean, we had all the time in the world when we were growing up. No jobs (aside from one of our guy friends who pretended to caddy) or commitments other than babysitting (I’ll save the Babysitters Club for another post). We spent our summer days riding our bikes around town, trying to get lost, buying 13 pieces of candy for a dollar, swimming, dancing, creating babysitter clubs, etc because we didn’t have jobs to worry about, or anything else of importance. We were lucky to have each other when we did. I’m sure not all adults look back happily at their childhood. So instead of being sad that I don’t have some of those friendships now, I will choose to be happy that I can one day share the memories when my kids are old enough, and hopefully give them that same carefree childhood.
Until then, I will watch Now & Then and remember how great I had it growing up 🙂
Sidenote: I had no idea Bonnie Hunt was in this movie until just recently. Hilarious.