31 Days, 31 People
Day 02: AMY

In first grade, Amy was the gorgeous blond girl that always had the coolest shoes and the coolest clothes. Her hair was perfect every day and she had one of those faces that you just knew, even as a first grader, she was going to grow up and be super-model levels of beautiful. For an awkward, doe-eyed, freckle-faced kid like me, becoming friends with Amy was kind of like winning the friend-lottery.

Her house was fun to be at, they had a pool and HBO. But she also liked hanging out at my house. I remember feeling surprised and a little embarrassed because I didn’t have as much neat stuff. I remember playing Joan Jett and Cyndi Lauper records in my room and I had a My Little Pony castle. I think we got in trouble for jumping on the bed. Most of the memory details have faded away with time. Whatever we did, I remember we had a lot of fun. We stayed friends for a long time.

In fourth grade I got switched to a new school, some result of zoning changes in our area. Making good friends at that new school never did work out very well for me. That school was my first introduction to really mean kids. Half way through fifth grade my family moved to a small town in rural Nevada. That was super weird too, but the friend-making went a little better there. Over time and distance, Amy and I eventually grew apart, made new friends and lost touch completely.

Amy taught me that friendship doesn’t judge by appearance. She was kind to me. At an early age when I was a gawky, goofy looking kid, having someone who didn’t judge me negatively by how I looked was a valuable thing to feel. I wasn’t completely friendless in first grade. There was an awesome group of kids in our neighborhood I had great friendships with, a couple of them I am still in touch with today. My friends from the neighborhood were all different ages and in different classes, we barely saw each other at school.
There were schoolmates that I hung out with, but none of those were the same. I remember some of those kids were really fun to play with on Saturdays, but they didn’t want to be friends with me if we were around other kids at school.

I don’t think when we’re in first grade we have any idea the gravity of our honesty. Kids are brutal. I like to think that Amy’s friendship then actually helps me be a better mom today. We can’t see everything our kids do at school, but it’s important to me that there is awareness and kindness toward the kids who get looked over. You don’t have to be friends with everyone, I understand it doesn’t work like that, but you do have to be kind. It took a lot of years for me to see that.

I’m grateful for the friendship I had with Amy. Maybe one of these days I’ll try to find her on “the social media” and see if she’d want to catch up over coffee.