Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about growing up.
Not my own.
Well, not just “other people.”
Specific people (in this post, I have two specific people in mind).
People I’ve known since they were babies. Seriously. Babies.
People I’ve known since they were preschoolers. Seriously. Preschoolers.
People I’ve known since they were gradeschoolers. Seriously. Gradeschoolers.
And now those babies are no longer babies.
And now those preschoolers are no longer preschoolers.
And now those gradeschoolers are no longer gradeschoolers.
They are big kids.
About to embark on their own journey.
But at one point, in their life’s journey, we journied together.
For a time. Short. Easy to forget.
Except, I pretty much have the memory of an elephant and remember everything and everyone I’ve met (slight exaggeration, but not much).
So, how could I forget the kids who I played alongside many years ago?
The neighbors and nanny kids I’ve biked with and baked with.
How could I forget the hilarious stories and funny phrases spoken by so many kids?
There’s no way I could forget the “the dog ate what?” story from a neighborhood nanny experience. A story I tell whenever the opportunity arises.
There’s no way I could forget the “they sicced their dog on me” story from a neighborhood hang out experience. A story I tell whenever I see Golden Retrievers.
There’s no way I could forget the hand-made “You’re the best babysitter” cards and pictures. A handful of cards and pictures I pull out whenever I feel like it.
There’s no way I could forget the “did we scare you?” tricks and pranks. A bunch of which I remember whenever I’m feeling mischevious.
There’s no way I could forget the “sure, Megan can come to the movies with our family” story. A story that makes me smile whenever I drive past a movie theater.
There’s no way I could forget those stories and hundreds more.
Because my memory won’t let me.
And for that, I’m grateful.
Because there’s no way I’d ever want to forget the kids, nanny and neighbor, who have biked and bladed across my path.
Too often, we run into people in life who impact us in the present. They add spark or charm or whit or quirkiness to our lives. For a brief moment. A mere speck on the time-line of our lives. And then we move on. They move on. Life moves on.
And we forget. We forget about their laugh. We forget about their smile. We forget about their oddities. We forget about our shared moments. We forget about them.
Unfortunate, don’t you think?
To create shared experiences and memories together – only to let them wash away like chalk during a rain storm.
Fortunately, there’s facebook.
I say that with a straight face.
Because as stalkerish and addictive as facebook is, it allows people to cross paths. Again.
And that’s what it’s afforded me.
A chance to peek in on the lives of people I’ve been raised with and helped “raise” (it takes a village…).
A chance to glimpse at the people they’ve become. The accomplishments they’ve accomplished. The dreams they set out to dream.
They are two specific people. People who I can tell you right now probably have never, nor ever will, read the thoughts of their old nanny and neighbor.
But that’s ok. They don’t have to.
I just hope they know that as they set out into the big world before them, ironically their paths crossing again (too many explanations to explain), that they have a hint, an inkling, of the impact they made on my life.
However much they remember about me – I could care less.
My only wish is that they know how big of a tire mark they’ve left on my path.
And ultimately, that they realize the incredible trail they can blaze in this great big world.
I ask. You answer.
Who are the people in your life that you can never forget?