Nostalgia at its finest

17 Jun

I don’t know why I was inclined to do this, but when Laura and I went through some old photos the other day, it dawned on me. Elementary school was the best time of my life. I know that sounds pathetic as it is, but hear me out.

This is one of my favorite pictures from 4th grade, being the best year of them all.

Before you hit puberty, nothing really matters. Life is so simple and void of drama and problems. At that point, we’re all on the same level. The only thing that can really hurt your social status is if you smell bad or get head lice. Other than that, you’re set. I had lots of friends in elementary school, but I was never a “cool” kid. I never was, and granted, I probably never will be. But I’m not a kid anymore. It’s weird to say that. But when you’re 9 years old, nobody’s a “bitch” or a “slut.” Nobody’s a “geek” or a “nerd” or a “jock.” There’s not a lot of variety in hobbies, so kids all have at least one thing in common, and it keeps everyone connected. My childhood best friend and I loved playing with dolls and stuffed animals. Not Barbies, but American Girl Dolls. We LOVED American Girl Dolls. And Muffy Vanderbear stuffed animals. We had all the playsets and costumes. And Tea Bunnies. Tea Bunnies were the SHIT. You’re probably wondering, “what the fuck is a tea bunny?”

They had clothes, but for some reason this person photographed them naked. But they had cute hats.

And Tea Bunny Babies.


It’s weird to think that of all of my friends from elementary school – I’m only friends with 3 still. And one of which I’ve never stopped being friends with. Laura and I have known each other since 4th grade. Marki and Cassie and I have known each other since kindergarten, but both of them moved to another state for some odd years.

But the thing is – all my other friends from all those years ago – a lot of them are still here. They still live in Gig Harbor, or at least nearby. They never left, as I never did. Not by choice, but by convenience. And the sad thing about it is that one thing changed the course of my life and my friendships. Going to Harbor Ridge instead of Goodman middle school. In reality, I shouldn’t have gone to Discovery Elementary in the first place – I should have gone to Purdy, but I didn’t. My mom did as all the other kids in my neighborhood did, and enroll us at Discovery. In reality, I still know a few people I went to elementary school with. I remember counting how many kids went with me to HRMS in 6th grade. Fifteen. And 2 of those guys either switched schools or moved away after 6th grade. So 13 kids stayed in middle school with me from Discovery. Over the next few years, kids moved away, switched schools, moved back, and decided to go to PHS. Now I can count all the kids I went to elementary school and still have some sort of contact with on two hands.

This is my 3rd grade birthday party.

Cassie and Marki and I when we were about 5.

And what makes me the saddest is thinking about the guys I was friends with when I was a kid. I had two best friends that were boys at Discovery. And I haven’t spoken to one of them in…at least 9 years. The other I stayed in contact with indirectly during middle school because his mom was my Girl Scout leader, but still. What broke these friendships wasn’t pain or anger or anything of the sort, but mere inconvenience. We didn’t live farther away, we just went to different schools, and met new people, and went different ways. That shouldn’t have made us any less of friends. Something should HAPPEN to break friendships. Shit should have to hit the fan to break up friendships. I know, it’s happened to me before. But not in this case. When you’re 11, you don’t have a care in the world, so there’s really no reason to hate someone. So why did I stop talking to my friends? Why have I not tried to keep in contact with them for all these years? I hope to never do that again. The friends I’ve made since then and the friends I make now will hopefully be lifelong. At least longer than is convenient. My uncle is still friends with guys he knew when he was 7. He’s 44.

Sometimes I think about what would have happened if I had gone to Goodman instead of HRMS, or not have gone to Discovery in the first place and gone to Purdy, like I was supposed to. I might be a completely different person. I might not have met a lot of people that I have. Heck, if I had gone to Purdy, I would have never seen Harriet the Spy at my best friend’s birthday party, in turn, getting us obsessed with writing, leading to my lifelong love. I might not have joined Outlook!

Now that’s a scary thought.

My fourth grade class at the Point Defiance Zoo.

I think that’s enough self-reflection for one day. I would like to see some of those old friends. I think people shouldn’t just have high school reunions, but elementary school reunions.

❤ Abby


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