My parents moved into the house they currently live in back in 1981, after my second birthday. They lived in a couple houses before that one, but the current house is the only one I remember. My grandmother and great grandmother lived in the house with us. I was such a lucky kid – thank goodness I knew it.
The street was overflowing with kids. The oldest kid was four years older than my brother and me, the youngest were three years below. At one point, over twenty kids on the street went to our elementary school. On our street, being bored was not an option. Luckily, with a street full of kids, we never were.
I don’t remember meeting Tara, she just was there. She’s always been there. I remember when her sister was born, when we were three. It’s probably one of my first memories. But really, as far as my brain is concerned, Tara has always been there, and that’s how it should be. We didn’t always get along, either. We were both very headstrong, bossy little girls who had to have their way. One of us grew out of it (spoiler alert: not me (spoiler’s spoiler: Tara is still headstrong, she’s just way nicer about it)), but luckily for both of us we figured out how to get along.
When we went to separate colleges I thought my life was over. HOW were we supposed to still be friends? This was right when this crazy little thing called email was just starting. It was a passing fad! Somehow, we managed to overcome the Twenty! Whole! Miles! between us. It might as well have been twenty thousand miles – any distance seemed impossible after spending sixteen years with only two houses between us.
The moving van comes today with our furniture, and that is going to be the big signal to our new neighbors that someone has finally bought the house that stood vacant for a year. I wonder if one of the houses around us holds Annie’s future BFF? While I don’t think my parents met Tara and thought, “hey, this little ankle biter is going to be Heather’s maid of honor!” I will silently be judging all the kids on this new street as potential besties for Annie. Annie’s future friends have to meet a high standard.
(With this move, Tara and I now live only five minutes apart. It’s more than two houses, but it’s still pretty awesome.)