No one ever directly yelled “Ewwwwww, boys have cooties!” but that sentence sums up everything I heard when I was in elementary school. At a time when girls cliqued together and played Barbie’s and house I was swimming in the pool and painting pictures with my best friend: Adam.
I have been friends with Adam since right around Kindergarten; however, we didn’t go to the same school until first grade. On my first day, in a new school, I was quickly attached to the only kid I knew in school. Being the new kid and having no friends, except Adam, when we spent every second at school together I didn’t find it weird at all. (us as kids) That is until people started saying things to me. “Why are you friends with a boy?” “Is he your boyfriend?” “That’s weird.” The answer was always simply that Adam was my best friend and always has been. As we started to get older and older for it became weirder and weirder that my best friend was a boy. In Middle School everything began to change. I was the typical Middle School girl; all I wanted to do was fit in with all the girls around me and be “popular”. While I was busy learning how to fix my hair and do my makeup my friendship with Adam began to be pushed to the side. Although I know I was very busy I also know that at that time I thought that in order for me to fit in I had to not be the only girl with a best friend that was a boy. I can remember a time in Middle School when I was walking down the hall and Adam was walking the other way. We said hey to each other but I also remember thinking how tall Adam had gotten and how he looked nothing like the chubby 1st grader that use to be my best friend. I didn’t stress out too much about losing my best friend until I got into high school and Adam was in the majority of my classes. When we started talking we picked up right where we left off. On the night of the Sadie’s Dance I couldn’t go because I had to leave for soccer the next morning bright and early. I remember being sad thinking about how all my friends would be having a blast and I would be stuck at home bored. Adam realized this and said that he would ditch Sadie’s and come hang out with me. We ended up having a blast eating a bunch of junk food and playing Mario Kart all night.
It was at this time that I realized that life isn’t about being popular and fitting in. If I wanted to be happy all I need to do is pick my friends based on who loves me and will have my back no matter what. Two years later when I look at my friend group it consists of a small group of kids that I know, no matter what, make me a better person and support me. Although it took me awhile to realize this I know I am in the right place at the moment. I am grateful for my family and friends and especially my friends that have become so close that they are considered family.
Growing up in a neighborhood where the only kids your age are boys, put me in the same kind of position. I have been friends with Luke, Craig, and Nicholas for about 12 years. We were always together and I always played the games that they wanted to play. I was into hot wheels, legos, wrestling, bugs, and sports. I refused to wear dresses and always had my hair pulled back into a ponytail. I kept up with those boys and they never saw me as the weaker person because I was a girl. I never really noticed the weird looks in elementary school, but looking back I can see why I had no girl friends when I would play light sabers on the playground with those boys. Us four never really grew apart. Sure, we found our own way through middle school and we continue to do so in high school, but I know those boys are still there for me. I wouldn’t have had it any other way. And I could still take them all in a wrestling match… BRING IT.