Saturday, October 03, 2015

Day 3: An Elementary School Friendship Story {31 Days of Friendship}

Once upon a time, there was a girl living in a small Midwest town, in a new housing development planted among the cornfields. Her family moved there from California in the winter of her 3rd grade year, so it was a winter full of changes. In that rural school district, the bus rides were thirty minutes long. She was surprised to learn that she would have to change schools again the next year, because one school had grades K-3 and the other had grades 4-6.

One of the first hot and sweaty August days of 4th grade, she got on the bus at the bus stop and looked for an empty seat. There was one next to a smiling blonde girl named Jane*, so she asked if she could sit and Jane said, "Sure, if you don't mind sharing with my trumpet."** The girl looked down and saw that the trumpet case was indeed taking up quite a bit of room. However, knowing that she was one of the shortest girls in her class, this did not deter her from sharing with Jane, so she sat down. The girls exchanged names, happily discovered they were in the same grade, and then realized they had reading class together (in this school the students rotated to different classrooms for reading and math).

Thus, a friendship was forged.

Jane later told the girl that no one had ever wanted to share a bus seat with her and her trumpet case before. The girl, for her part, was just glad to have a good friend.

Jane and the girl were friends for almost two years--until the girl had to move again halfway through the fifth grade. Jane promised to write; after all, her grandma ran a small rural post office nearby and both girls had been collecting stamps as a part of the Ben Franklin Stamp Club, so they looked forward to continuing their stamp chat long-distance. Plus, what's more fun than mail?

This friendship lasted through the mail--letters, photos, graduation announcements, wedding announcements. Then when that crazy Internet thing took off, they started emailing. Now communication tends to happen mostly on Facebook, but the girls are still friends.

One time a few years ago, while Jane and her husband were traveling through, the two friends met up at a McDonald's just off the interstate. They still had a lot to talk about. And this time, they didn't have to navigate around the trumpet case.

The moral of the story: It is possible to keep a friendship going over long distances and the passage of time.

*Names have been changed, and I'm using Austenian pseudonyms, because I want to. My friend Jane is named after Jane Bennet.

**The trumpet must remain; its case size is integral to the story.

To read the introductory post for this #write31days series, click here.

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