I met Lauren on the first day of Kindergarten. We were excited. No doubt, wearing our back to school best and carrying our hard plastic Disney Princess lunchboxes with matching thermoses. Lauren always had cheese sandwiches in her lunch. I was jealous of those.
To be more specific, we met on the school bus. Front seat. Left side. Right behind the bus driver. I think that I knew right then that she would be a lifelong friend. We were inseparable. We had secret languages, sleepovers, and played pranks on her little sisters (evil sock monkey, anyone?). We made nasty concoctions of condiments at Burger King and ate the buy one get one free kids dinner buffet at the Hickory Hills buffet before Wednesday night church. When I think of my childhood, I think of Lauren. I know that her American Girl Doll was Samantha, she always kept candy in her top dresser drawer, secretly wished for years that she had a retainer, and loved dill pickles.
Now we are all grown up. We have jobs and grown up lives and live hundreds of miles apart. Although the days of American Girl dolls and sock monkey pranks are gone, we have managed to keep in touch and remain friends through junior high, high school, a brief hiatus in college, and now marriages.
You see, Lauren is getting married on Saturday! Regretfully I won't be able to make the trip to Virginia to be with her on this amazing day, but I will be thinking about her as she walks down the aisle and begins her life as a Mrs. And I know that whatever changes happen in our lives, we will always be friends. And hate sock monkeys. And wish we had retainers. :)