Years and years ago, when I was very young, I had a class with a friend. I think we were in the ninth grade, but it may have been tenth. I know that I was just at the age where having a good friend who was a boy was something new and very special. I know that I was just at that age where we begin to wonder about the rest of our lives.
In this class, the teacher asked us to think about the future; I have no idea why, or even what class it was! All I remember is that I was partnered with my friend, Tim. We were supposed to make a budget, to plan how to pay for a home and family. It was all pretty silly, and I don’t remember whether or not we did very well on the assignment.
But I remember that my friend was cute, and funny, and that I really enjoyed talking with him and thinking about our “grown up lives”.
And I remember that we told each other that we’d always be friends, the way that children do. I remember us laughing together, and I remember saying, “When we are old, we’ll be sitting side by side in our rockers, in the Old Folks’ Home. We’ll still be friends!”
So fun, and so funny to recall.
These dreams are always foolish, aren’t they?
Except that the funny thing is, we really HAVE stayed friends. Tim was in our wedding, and my husband Paul was in his. Tim and his wife, Jean, have been our close friends for years. We had our first children within six months of each other, and then each went on to have two more. Our families have spent weekends together, have celebrated New Year’s eve together. We’ve walked our babies together, watched our children grow up and go to school and become adults. We’ve shared meals, and many drinks, and lots of music and a boatload of laughter.
And now, more than 40 years after that laughing conversation about our lives in the Old Folks Home, now, my good friend has become a Grandfather. He calls himself “Coot”, although it well may be that his granddaughter will call him “papa” or “gumpa” or “pops”.
I know that the name “Coot” is perfect for my funny old friend, and that his wife Jean will be the prettiest Nana ever. We’ll be joining them in the world of Grandparents in the next few weeks, and the four of us will share more stories, and laughs and meals and walks with strollers. We are moving together into the next phase of our lives, me and “Coot”. Our babies are having babies at almost the same time.
Who knows? Maybe our granddaughters will become great friends, and maybe someday they will come to the “home” where Coot and Nana and Grampa and Nonni will be rocking together and remembering our wild younger days.
Congratulations to Coot and Nana!!!!