One of the best parts of my week is driving my oldest son and his best friend to their karate practice. Not the driving part. Driving sucks, especially driving a minivan. The part I love is being in this small space with two teenage boys, no eye contact possible, and hearing what (if anything) they have to say.
Sometimes it’s just a random comment about school or the idiot driver in front of us. Sometimes there’s real news to share, like his sister was accepted into the college of her choice. Mazal Tov! and how does he feel about her being gone next year, he’ll be the oldest in the house… good, bad, indifferent? Sometimes there’s nothing to say at all, and I turn up the AltRock a little louder and notice them staring out the window, each lost in thoughts of the day that was and still to come.
Yesterday we briefly discussed the benefit of memorizing a poem for English class (“Jabberwocky”), the “Miracle of Life” video they watched last year in 7th grade which they wish they could unsee (I don’t know how this came up, but it sounds like a realistic portrayal of childbirth), and that the proudest moment in each of their lives to date is their bar mitzvah.
These two boys have been friends since the first day of preschool. At two years old they found each other and connected over Legos, which is one of only three things they have in common: Legos, karate, and soccer. Where one is adventurous and loves the outdoors, the other is happy at home with a book. One plays Minecraft, and the other the guitar. Defense versus attack on the soccer field. One likes to row, the other skis black diamond.
They don’t hang in the same crowd at school, and as they get older and the differences in their interests are more defined with each passing year, it would seem that they’d naturally drift away from each other. They don’t even attend the same summer camp.
And they are closer than ever.
I listen to the way they interact with each other on the way to karate every Tuesday and Thursday, and I marvel at their easy friendship. They agree and disagree, call each other out and laugh at the same jokes. There is a comfort, security and closeness between these two that transcends their daily lives of different social circles and activities.
“Both of your proudest moments are your bar mitzvahs?” I ask, with a smile. “Well yeah,” they reply, almost in unison. “We haven’t had such long lives yet,” one of them adds.
It’s true. Their lives are young.
“Thanks for the ride,” they both mumble as they grab their green belts and slam the car doors. Neither of them is wearing any shoes and they pick their way carefully along the tarred road. They are deep in conversation.
Their lives are young, yes, and full of the promise of more friends and girls and teams and schools. More opportunities to not do things together. But that doesn’t matter at all. They’re both working toward a black belt in karate.
These two are best friends. And I have a feeling they always will be.
This is a Finish the Sentence Friday post, inspired by the prompt, “My proudest moment was…” Hosted by Kristi from Finding Ninee, and co-hosted by Tarana from Sand In My Toes and Kerri from Diagnosed and Still Okay.