I have another friend. I know, I know, it’s kinda hard to believe I have friends, especially as you’re coming to a full realization of my personality quirks as I blog about all (and I do mean all) of them. But I really do have real friends. And I am confident enough in the history shared between this one and myself that I feel safe claiming she’s my real friend, even for all the world to see via the internet. Her name is Amber.
Remember Tichelle, about whom I wrote in The Oldest and the Bestest? Well, Tichelle and I have known Amber for a long old time. We all went to school together from kindergarten ’til we graduated high school! The three of us are pictured below at a dance in third or fourth grade. Amber’s in the center and Tichelle’s at right. I remember that the dress I was wearing had a lacy collar which I despised so I tucked it inside the dress once I was out of sight of my mom! That must’ve been uncomfortable… but who am I to judge? (Also, I’m totally loving Tichelle’s tissue-paper corsage in this photo. And, don’t worry, Tichelle totally loves it when I dig up old memories and post them on social media.)
The three of us were part of a class of 15 students, and though we didn’t hang out consistently from year to year, we always remained friendly. And now that Amber and I are all grown up and both living back in our hometown (well, I’m actually in Ingomar, but Hysham is as close to Ingomar as anything), we’re in it to win it because we’re doing Motherhood (with a capital M) together. Amber is an inspirational mama for me, and her kids are a good influence on my kids. I always tell Amber she is the least crazy of all my mom friends! She’s full of common sense, fun ideas, and gentleness. There’s no one I’d rather experience birthing class, birthday parties, swimming lessons, oldest-to-kindergarten angst, and home-town-small-town-challenges with.
Here’s what Amber looks like now that she’s all grown up into a beautiful mama of four beautiful kids:
Amber brought her little ducklings up to visit us at the VX recently. Here’s what her little ducklings look like, along with my little ducklings:
Awwww. Aren’t they cute? We took this picture after we’d explored some really cool sandrocks in the northwest pasture:
Then a thunderstorm blew up and we were about seven miles from the house! We high-tailed it home with the kids in the back of the Polaris Ranger:
It was kinda windy.
Then, when we topped the ridge from which we caught the first glimpse of our home, we could plainly see the rain coming down the creek toward us! We had to keep on high-tailing it! (We did manage to make it in before the rain hit, and then Amber hustled her kids into the car and headed down the road toward Ingomar before they all got mudded in here at the VX. Rain has a way of stranding folks out here.)
Just another experience for me and Amber to add to the thousands we’ve had together since we were five years old.
Amber and I have this theory that in small-town schools, the classmates with whom you attended school for those 13 formative years of your life probably know you better than anyone else does. After all, you spent incalculable amounts of time together making all sorts of social blunders; a bond is unavoidable. The way I see it, that bond can have a happy ending (as in the case of Amber & Tam) or a troubling ending (as in the case of the student who leaves school wishing to never see any classmates ever again, but whose soul is inexplicably bound to said classmates through memories of the afore-mentioned formative years. More on that subject in a future blog). But anyhow, back to real life, where I am not actually a psychologist: it’s all worked out pretty well for me and Amber. Our shared history provides for us not only a treasure trove of inside jokes and hilarious memories and fodder for gossip, but also an innate acceptance of one another’s quirks and a comfortable familiarity that makes one another’s homes feel… well, homey. For us there is not only the social easiness of being in the same time and place in our lives right now… but also the comfort that results from having come from the same time and place. To put it simply, we definitely act like junior high girls when we’re together.
Oh, we pretend to be grown-up. We attempt to be good leaders for this next generation we’re raising up. And we do pretty good at it most of the time. But don’t be surprised if you ever find the two of us collapsed in a corner in a fit of giggles… or belting out a Garth Brooks song… or unashamedly devouring a jar of Nutella together… or reminiscing about a livestock judging trip we took once upon a time… or quoting lines from Tommy Boy… or reliving poofy bangs and t-shirts tied at the belly.
It’s just what we junior high girls do.
© Tami Blake