Friday, August 21, 2009

Staying connected

Beth took the kids to Ohio to meet up with our former next neighbors and forever good friends. It was roughly one year ago they moved back to the Midwest. That was a sorrowful parting. I can still conjure the sounds of the girls calling tearfully to each other in the night as we walked them away from one another to our own houses. The chance for the Beth and the kids to reunite with them was, therefore, to important to pass up. A year is a long time for anyone, changes occur that can alter one's perspective and even one's identity. We wondered how the kids would reconnect.

We needn't have worried. These photos give you a sense of they picked up from where they'd left off. It makes me happy for them. It seems likely that these kids will be friends for a good long time now...had we waited another year, who knows?

I reflect on my own childhood and I'm struck by the fact that not a single relationship endured the many relocations our family experienced. I remember moving my stuff up into my dorm room my senior year at college. It was my 21st birthday. As I climbed the flights of stairs to my fourth floor room I made a count of every change of address I'd had up to that point. The number was coincidentally, twenty one. Twenty one moves over the course of twenty one years. And not a single friend had survived those moves. Nobody from England or Tuscon or Vancouver or Klamath Falls or that era, when I relocated it was as if I moved away from myself as much as from a town or school. So many fresh starts, so many slates wiped clean, so few stories rehashed, revised, and recycled.

I'm rooting for these four kids to stay connected in some meaningful way. We'll see. Friendship is a product of kinship and experience over time. A lifetime is barely long enough for some of us to recognize even one such friend.


Blogger JessP said...

Wonderful pictures, Kevin. And wonderful text about staying connected with friends. You and Beth are such friends for me, and I am so glad to continue to get to know you over the years, from Chiapas to Rome to Oregon. 13 years! Oy vey.

8:24 PM  

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