When Julia started Kindergarten, she immediately became friends with a girl I’ll call Rhonda.
Of course, Rhonda isn’t her real name. I’d love it if it was, though. I’d be all, “Help me, Rhonda!” Man, I love The Beach Boys. Especially during summer. It just feels so….right!
Julia adored Rhonda and talked about her all the time. So much so that I made it a point to introduce myself to Rhonda’s mother one day at school pick up.
Me: “Hi! Are you Rhonda’s mom?”
Rhonda’s Mom: “Yeah.”
Me: “I’m Leslie – Julia’s mom.”
I extended a hand of friendship.
Rhonda’s Mom: “…..”
She looked at my hand like I was trying to feel her up. Or kill her.
I pulled my hand back and brushed at invisible lint on my pants in an effort to look a little less awkward and rejected.
Me: “Well, Julia talks about Rhonda all the time. I think they’re becoming very good friends.”
Rhonda’s Mom: “How do you know who I am?”
Me: “Well, we’ve been picking up our kids here every day for a month…”
Yeah, Rhonda’s mom was kind of a giant asshole. But, Julia still loved Rhonda as evidenced in the first half of her Kindergarten memory book.
“I get along with….Rhonda.”
“My favorite day is playing with….Rhonda.”
And look! There’s a picture she drew of Rhonda.
But then, one day, suddenly and mysteriously, Julia and Rhonda were no longer friends. I inquired, many times, about what happened, but all I would get was a shrug from Julia.
I’ll admit, there was a small sense of relief. I knew there was no way I’d ever let Julia go over to Rhonda’s house. Her mom was a jerk. But, I could tell Julia was disappointed that they were no longer friends and that felt terrible.
Her disappointment didn’t last, however, as she became fast friends with a lovely girl with a perfectly delightful mother.
So, yesterday. After months and months of asking and wondering, I gained some insight into the falling out of Julia and Rhonda and I pounced on it like it was the juiciest piece of gossip I’d ever heard.
Julia had mentioned Rhonda in passing and my mother asked her, “Whatever happened with you two? Why aren’t you friends anymore?”
And Julia didn’t shrug. SHE SPOKE. She said, “I’m not one of the sexy girls.”
Okay, what does that mean?
“You’re not?” my mom asked.
“Rhonda is a sexy girl. She plays with Bratz dolls and stuff….my mom doesn’t allow me to. Sexy stuff isn’t for kids. So, I’m not a sexy girl.”
“But that’s okay, you know,” my mom told her.
“Oh, I know, Grandma. It’s okay. Sometimes when the other sexy girls aren’t around, Rhonda will still play with me. But I still have other friends.”
And I almost couldn’t contain myself. She listened.
This just may go down as one of my proudest moments.