Literally -- the Wednesday after Labor Day, 1960 -- I began the fifth grade fifty-five years ago. I don't remember very much about the fifth grade. I can't tell you what we learned in Grammar or Arithmetic and I only vaguely remember we studied American History in Social Studies. I do remember that my teacher was Miss Prince, we went on two field trips and I wrote a play about Easter. I went to Hebrew School, I took swimming lessons at the Y and I was a Girl Scout.
One thing that I do remember clearly about that school year was that there was a "new girl" in our class. I can't recall when we first started to speak to each other or any other details of how we became friends, except that we were in the same Girl Scout troop. Some time in that year we started to go to each other's houses after school and we became friends.
Our friendship lasted and flourished throughout high school, but we drifted apart in our college years. There was no rift, but it would be several decades before we saw each other again. Our friendship resumed and in the way of true friendship with its ebbs and flows we once again share fun, laughter, good times and less good times.
Our fifty-five years came together in a knot of emotion and love and laughter this Sunday at a celebration for L's beautiful daughter's engagement. I celebrated with my friend and her friends and my friend's sisters and brothers and their spouses and children and grand-children and now the future in-laws of my friend. I think about all of the connections -- friends to friends of friends that loop and intertwine -- that grew from one friend from the fifth grade and I am awed and grateful. What an extraordinarily meaningful connection began fifty-five years ago today.