Sunday, April 3, 2011


My next friend I’m going to talk about is named Kasia. Now unlike how Katie was kinda forced into being my friend Kasia was very much my friend by choice. I met her I think in 1st grade. I was in this program in elementary school called the gifted program, where they would combine two grades and make one class with the select few smarter kids like myself. You end up kind of being with the same kids the whole time you are in this program, hence why Kasia and I ended up always being in the same class together. Another big part of our friendship was that we were both members of the community pool that we would spend the summers at and as a part of the swim team with them.   Kasia and I didn’t  always have this easy going friendship. We were both very strong willed and controlling people, who tried constantly to be the leader of the group.  This competition between the two us often resulted in fights breaking out and one of us coming home in tears.  Looking back and reflecting it’s very much what I think the definition of a love hate relationship would be.

The first school year we had together their was another girl in our class named Emiko. Emiko used to get dropped off each morning at my house before school, because the bus wouldn’t pick her up at her house. I think that having this alone time with Emiko was a big source of the jealousy issues with Kasia and so  the two of us would both try to get Emiko to like one of us the best and hate the other. These fights never lasted long but they happened often.  Lucky for us all Emiko didn’t continue with this program so we only had her in our class that one year. Who knows what would have happened if she had stayed in the class with us.  Kasia and I always came back, even with these little disagreements were going on, to being each others best friend. I think it was because of the fact that we were so similar and had so many of the same ideas in our heads that drew us to each other and kept our friendship strong.

Kasia was very much my best friend.  I spent a lot of my time with her and her family. She had one older brother around the same age as my older brother. She also had two sisters, one younger and one older.  Her family seemed better off financially then my family did. But because I was a little kid who knew if that was really the case. I just knew that they always had a lot more cool stuff then we did. Kasia always had the best toys and games and food, whereas we sure didn’t.   I was able to walk to Kasia house alone and that allowed me the freedom to hang out there in summer a lot. We would play with all the girly toys that my parents wouldn’t buy for me. She had a whole toy box full of Barbie’s. She was always very controlling of what outfits and activities they could do, but we would spend hours figuring out these adventures they would go on.  At the swimming pool we would meet each other and be those people who always challenge you to do something bigger and better then the other. Back dives, flips, holding your breath the longest, you name it we challenged each other to it.

 It wasn’t like we didn’t have other friends because we did. We had a lot of other girls and boys that were a part of our group, both at the swimming pool and at school.  Together we were the leaders of that group and I’m sure that at times other kids were envious of that.  I think it’s the first and only time in my life where I was in the popular crowd. Together we did everything.  She was always my first choice if I got to have a friend with me on a trip or to spend the night, and I was always hers. We attended each other birthday parties religiously,  had a million sleepovers, and were pretty much inseparable.  I remember being very upset at having to get glasses when I was a kid and it was Kasia who talked me into how awesome they would be. I can remember exactly where that conversation took place even 25 years later.  Unlike with Katie I never felt like I wasn’t enough. I never felt like I had to talk myself up or work so hard to be a part of the friendship. With Kasia it just came easy. It was truly a case of two people who really were drawn to each other because of all the things they want to get from the other. Besides the fighting for control, we had no issues. And honestly if we had been given the chance to continue our friendship as we grew up, I truly think that we would have naturally figured out who got to have that control and the fighting would have stopped.  The other thing about our friendship was that it was only about us. Unlike with Katie our families were never friends with each other. I mean sure our parents talked as the dropped and picked us up from the others house but they were not friends and would never speak to each other if their daughters had not been friends.

What happened to me and Kasia is nothing dramatic. We didn’t have some huge blowout that ended things and made us hate each other or anything. What ended our friendship is that I moved away. I moved to a city and hour away fro the old one and started a new school where I never again got to be one of the popular kids.  I ended up feeling such a drastic impact from not having the close group of friends, that I think it forever shaped my life.  I moved in September when I was about to turn ten in two months.  She came to my 10th birthday part in November  that same year but that was the last one. It’s hard to maintain a friendship with someone when you live an hour away and your family has no connection. Now unlike with Katie, where my mom would put a lot of effort to see them because her mom was my mom’s close friends, Kasia and her family never got that.  Once I moved we couldn’t really have a lot of continuation to our friendship and so naturally it ended as you would expect. I kept going to my new school where I never again found that kind of easy best friend that I had with Kasia and she continued to flourish as the leader of our group with out me.  I’m a little disappointed that my parents didn’t try to put a little more effort into maintaining our friendship. Especially because of how truly hard making that move was on my 10 year old self.

I ran into her once when I was in middle school. It was at an amusement park downtown while I was  a nanny for two kids over summer and had taken them there for the day. She recognized me right away and instantly came over to catch up.  She said that she was going to the school where I would have gone if I was still in the area and liked to write poems. When I was an adult just a few years back I randomly typed her name into Google just to see if anything would come up and sure enough there she was. Unlike with Katie I felt no hesitation sending her an email just seeing what she was up to and even if she would remember me.  Turns out she is a lawyer living in Texas and about to get married for a guy with a kid. She gave me updates on her family and I responded with the same updates on me and my family. It was nice to know that she was doing good and I felt genuinely happy for her.  I don’t hold any sort of expectations with Kasia anymore. What we had as kids was amazing but its over and that’s ok. We don’t need to have any further communication and I don’t have any regrets about what course our friendship took. I have a head full of really great memories about the kid I once was and some of the crazy stuff we would do together.  And honestly that’s enough for me; I don’t feel this need to find more in it as an adult.

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