Last week, I had the pleasure of being invited to my granddaughter's preschool for a Mother's Day party. Well, actually, I attended in place of my daughter-in-law, Cathy, who had to work that day, but CiCi seemed happy that I was going to be there.
I've met her teachers (three per class) before, on Grandparents' Day, and know all about the mutual admiration society between them all. CiCi is known for her sweetness, her participation, and enthusiasm, and her teachers are known for their beauty, their fun, and their amazing ability to always act surprised when CiCi taps one on the shoulder, points to some distant spot, and exclaims, "Look! A skunk!" Preschool humor...good stuff.
Well, imgine my surprise when I got to the school for the Mother's Day party, and found that I was 30 minutes early. Hmmm...mabye I should get the invitation from Mommy in hand next time instead of getting it by text. At any rate, the teachers were understanding about the gaffe, and made me feel welcome. It was time for the children to go out to the playground, they told me, and so, dutifully, CiCi took my hand and out we went.
CiCi was immediately off and running with her friends, first to one piece of equipment, then to the tricycle track, then to a slide, then across the yard, running willy-nilly, enjoying the sweet sunshine that day. It was amusing to watch the herd of little ones move en masse from one place to the next, each one in turn leading the others to the next destination, knowing their time outside was short.
I was sitting on a bench where CiCi had left me when the door to the school opened, and another procession of children entered the playground. As the classes blended together, one of CiCi's teachers motioned to me, grinned, and said, "Now, you have to watch this." I nodded, wondering what was so interesting.
She called out to CiCi, who was running toward the jungle gym, and said, "CiCi...Amelia is here!" CiCi stopped in her tracks and spun toward the door. She shot across the yard as fast as I've ever seen her run, toward another little girl.
The other girl, Amelia, had spied CiCi as well, and they were running full tilt directly at each other. When they were within arms reach of one another, they both stopped suddenly and....bounced! They were so excited to see each other, they bounced up and down, laughing and giggling like the little schoolgirls they are. After the display of bouncing, they took each others' hands and ran off together, staying locked together like that for the rest of the playground period.
CiCi's teachers laughed at what must have been the incredulous look on my face, and simply said, "They've been that way since Day One. We don't know why, but they're inseparable. While they're here...they just have that special bond."
Well, last night the thought of that incident with my granddaughter and her little friend came flooding over me while I was on facebook. I felt exactly like CiCi, and wanted to jump up and down like Tigger, overjoyed at the friends I encountered. I knew just how she felt!
It started with two of us talking "in chat," then two others suddenly joining in. We were bouncing back and forth in a confusing array of messages, laughing and posting as fast as we could, each of us knowing the others were waiting for replies to questions or comments. Eventually, the conversation spread from the chat space to the walls, and beyond to private messages. The most extraordinary part of the evening was that, for the most part, I would have considered it a rare treat to speak to ONE of these friends, let alone the six or seven who ended up visiting with me.
Oh, yeah. I know how CiCi feels now. We don't know why, but we're inseparable. While we're here, we just have that special bond.
Reconnecting, rebonding, reminiscing, remembering...facebook has become a gathering place for these things. I'm so happy to have found many of my childhood companions again. I look forward to many more wonderful encounters (although maybe not all at once!) in the future, and delight in hearing from them. It makes me want to run toward them, stop in place...and bounce for joy!