Archive for April, 2009

Childhood Dreams

In 1989 a young couple moved to North Carolina with their three-year-old daughter and new-born baby girl to pursue a company promotion. Behind their town home was a vast field, and at the bottom of the hill was a house. In this home lived a four-year-old boy, Christopher, with his mother and teenage brother.

When the little boy and girl met, they instantly became best friends. Everyday they played together, as if they were brother and sister, since their siblings were so far apart in age from them. He would push her through the field in her Corvette Barbie car, and she would pretend to love listening to his rock and roll music. (Yes, even at four he was a rocker.) The little girl had an imaginary friend, and although Christopher couldn’t see him and didn’t really like his existence, he would play along to make her happy. Behind Christopher’s house was a forest. Many days were spent clearing paths to walk and build forts.

Their birthdays were only one day apart, so every November 15 the little girl was so excited that she was the same age as Christopher, even if for only one day. They shared everything, even the chicken pox. When they were old enough to start school, they went to different schools but would still play together everyday when they got home. Several years went by, and they truly grew to become best friends.

One day the girl’s daddy came home and told her they were moving again for his job, all the way to Louisiana. She was seven years old and didn’t want to leave Christopher or her friends at school, but the decision wasn’t up to her. After that day, she never saw him again.

Life takes many turns, and once again her dad’s job moved her to Florida in the third grade. She started over and made new friends. In 1996 she was in the fourth grade and her parents decided to take the family on vacation back to North Carolina. They visited their former neighbors, and the little girl asked elderly Mrs. Ruth, “Does Christopher still live in the house back there?” She replied, “No sweetheart. I think they moved a couple years ago.” Her heart was deeply saddened as she didn’t know if she would ever see him again.

She went behind the home and realized the vast field was only a plot of land. The “forest” they played in was about 10 trees that somehow survived residential development. Maybe her little fantasy childhood wasn’t as magical as she imagined. Christopher probably didn’t even remember who she was.

The family remained in Florida where she was able to graduate high school, attend college, and even get married. Her life was finally rooted in one location, and she had built a solid foundation for herself. The little girl is now 22 years old, and one month away from graduating from USF.

If you haven’t figured it out already, I’m the little girl. This past week, Christopher tracked me down and found me. We wrote back and forth on Facebook catching up on the 16 years we lost touch.

Turns out, he’s gone on to have an extremely successful career as a drummer. No surprise, all he ever wanted to do was pretend we were in a rock band. He had posters on his wall of his favorite bands, and always sang the song “Dumas Walker.” Everywhere he went he carried around a pillow guitar. Apparently he got his first set of drums in fourth grade and never looked back. Now he lives in Nashville, but has traveled all over the country, playing with many of the “big shots.”

I cannot put into words how happy it makes my soul to have found him. I feel like I’m six years old playing outside again, jumping ramps with our bikes and getting bruised and cut up. I’m sure over the last 16 years we’ve each had our fair share of life’s cuts and bruises, but catching up with Christopher washes it all away.

One thing in particular he said really stuck with me. He said, “Every November 15 I wish you a happy birthday, wherever you are.”

Even though the plot of land wasn’t a prairie, and the handful of trees weren’t a forest, one thing wasn’t blown out of proportion by my five-year-old perspective on life. I had a best friend in Christopher, and true friendships last a lifetime.

We’re both adults now, all grown up. Life keeps us busy and hectic. But it’s refreshing to know that this friendship has been reunited, and my long lost childhood friend is now only a phone call away.

This one’s to you Christopher. Thanks for finding me. And thanks social-media for making it possible.


Read Full Post »