Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Other Gold

When I was a child my mom taught me a song that we would sing in rounds: "Make new friends but keep the old. One is silver, the other gold."

This week I am rejoicing in my gold friends.

One in particular stayed with me this week. We were great friends in our last year of high school (a school I attended only for that one year) and did fairly well keeping in touch through the college years and in our twenties, but then we lost contact over the last 9 years. Another friend from a different high school (but a friend we shared) died last fall and the giant take-home message for me is that I want to try harder to nurture the relationships with my far-flung friends.

This week my friend made it easy for me by carving time out of her busy schedule, traveling thousands of miles and adapting herself quickly to daily life in my family. My son welcomed her at the start, but adored her by the end. On the first day he asked, "What is your friend doing?" On the second day he asked, "Can our friend make transformers?" and on the morning after she left he ran to our guest room and looked at the now-empty bed and asked , "Where did my friend go?"

It was a great joy to see my dear childhood friend and my child enjoy each other so much. They played, she taught him to shoot marbles, and they told each other silly jokes. My son: "What did the chicken say to the man?" My friend, "I don't know. What did the chicken say to the man?" Him: "Hey! You ate my donut!" Her: "What do you get when you drop a piano down a mineshaft?" Him: "I don't know. What do you get?" Her:"A flat minor." And that would go on and on and on, to all of our great delight.

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