Monday, January 03, 2011

Small-Town Friends

So, when I was 5 my family moved to a new town again - this was probably the fourth move since I was born (that I know of, there might have been more) and it also happens to be the one that stuck. We moved to one of the smallest towns you can imagine, with only about 250-300 people for the total population, and that includes the outlying farms. I was excited about the house we were going to live in because I was finally going to get my own room - up until this point I had been sharing with my older brother but my younger brother was going to share with him now and I got my own. When we first saw the house the previous owners were either still living there or they just hadn't moved all their stuff yet. I remember Mom saying "honey, do you want this room?" I looked inside and it was filled with old people furniture - like an old rocking chair and and china cabinet and those kinds of things - and for some reason I thought those things were staying there as well, so I said no. Young minds are very strange to me.

Anyway, on the first day of school we were still living in our old house in our old town, and I somehow got it in my head that I was going to go with Dad and he would drop us off at school on the way to work and then pick us up on the way home. I am not sure if this was ever the actual plan according to Mom and Dad, but it was MY plan. Of course I got up that day and I think Dad was already gone .. or just leaving or something. Somehow, I was told that I wouldn't be going until we were finished moving. I was pretty bummed, but I managed to survive.

We finally did move the next weekend after that and I had missed an entire week of school *gasp*. I had carefully picked out this outfit that I thought was amazing - it was a sweater dress and it was black and white with pink on it. Amazingly, I don't really remember the first day of school there. I do remember finding out that most of the other kids were related or that their parents had grown up there and so I thought they all knew each other and had forever. I found out later that one girl, Lissa, who ended up being one of my best friends had just started at the same school just the previous week (when school started and I didn't come with Dad) and although she was kinda distant cousins with some of the other kids she didn't really know them either.

The school was small so we all got to know each other fast. My class had 8 students in it - 6 boys and 2 girls. And we were the BIG class. My brother's class, which was a year ahead of me, had 5 kids in it - 3 boys and 2 girls. The class below us had only 3 students - all girls (of course, since I was in Grade 1 at the time they weren't really there yet since they were in kindergarten all the way down in the lunchroom and only part of the time). Of the kids in my class three of us lived in town - me, one other girl and one of the boys. Of my brother's grade three also lived in town - my brother, and two girls. The grade below us had one girl who lived in town. One of the girls from my brother's class and the one from the class below me who lived in town were siblings and they lived right next door to the other girl from my class who lived in town which was a couple blocks away from us. The boy from my class lived right across the street from us (well, he was across the street and across a big field as well) and the last girl who lived in town lived much closer to the school than the rest of us (yet it was still only about 4 blocks from us).

That didn't leave a lot of options for friends. You pretty much all had to be friends with everyone. And you had to be the kind of friends that hang out with the town kids, even if you preferred hanging out with the farm kids at school, because getting permission to go to a friend's farm after school either meant you had to be driven back or someone had to come get you.

This was a good time for me. I was probably pretty obnoxious, as I think I mentioned before, but everyone still put up with me for the most part. I had a few instances of disagreements with the other kids, but we always made up and things turned out okay. I learned how to get along with people I didn't always see eye-to-eye on which is a good skill to have now. I learned that sometimes kids, and people in general, can be mean, but that doesn't mean they are evil. I learned to forgive, even if my Mom had to force me.

Come back tomorrow to learn about the first friend I had in this small town and how we met and how our relationship developed and changed over time (heh - I feel like I am advertising for a TV show).

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