Yesterday I wrote about nostalgia. Today I lived it. I had the honor of being invited to help out with the birthday/bowling/pizza/ice cream sundae party of two of my students tonight. Twins. Fourteen years old. Five friends along to help them celebrate and enough nail polish in one girl's bag to make me think she had her own bowling ball!
As I pulled in I was listening to Donna Summer's "Last Dance" and in my mind it was 1979, and I was fourteen all over again. It might just as well have been my My Ol' Man dropping me off at the Roll-A-Way Skating Rink in Newark, instead of me dropping this group off at the bowling alley. Yup, parachute pants, Farah Fawcett feathered bangs, and a pick in my back pocket to keep those bangs appropriately feathered all night long. (Only mine never did look as good as Farah's. Sigh...)
Now, here's the thing...I had good solid friends when I was fourteen. I wouldn't have traded them for anything and thanks to the wonders of social networking I'm back in contact with a few of them. But oh...my goodness...to have had these girls as my friends when I was fourteen? What a different world that would have been. What a different, better person I would be today. Such positive energy flows from today's youth. Yes, you have to look harder for it in some than in others, but tonight's group has a corner on the market. They are goodness and purity and sweetness and light all wrapped up in neat packages tied together with teenage craziness! These are the kind of girls who just make you glad to be alive.
Time will tell for these girls, as it has for all of us, what will become of their friendships. Some friends are born into your life...just a mere minute before or in front of you, as is the case with these beautiful birthday girls, but you know that particular friend will never ever leave your side. Some friends roll into town and you take one look at each other and you both think at the same exact moment, "Well, now where have you been hiding all my life?" as is the case with the twins' mother and myself. Some friends pop into your life and pop right back out again, but you are such a better person for their momentary presence in your life. Some friends come in and start to move the furniture around without your permission and you both eventually realize maybe you're not really supposed to be friends after all. Some friends move in, sink their feet into the ground around you, plant roots, and become part of the scenery. You can't imagine that they ever weren't there. Some friends do that whole planting roots thing and then for whatever reason, there is suddenly a different plan for their life and the roots have to be, sometimes painfully, uprooted and replanted somewhere else...away from you. Some times you know...you just know...you won't ever see that friend again. And sometimes, a friend that you thought was lost forever, suddenly reappears in your life and you pick right up where you left off.
Last dance...last chance...for love. Nope, I don't think this is the last dance for these girls. I think they'll be dancing and doing each other's nails and telling silly riddles and bowling and eating ice cream and playing games and being friends for a long time to come.
Today I love..I just really really love...friendship.