Hello Mrs Telephone


Childhood, a time when everything is new, at least once.

Every day our domestic worker would walk the few blocks to the local shops to buy what was needed. Bread, vegetables, sometimes meat. And she would take me with her. I was 3 years old. My older sister was at school every day, so my outing was to the shops.

At the same time another little girl, whose mother was busy with a new baby, also went along on that daily expedition from their house.

Inevitably as the two women seemed to choose the same time of day, they would meet and chat. And so did we.

I made a FRIEND. This was a first for me. Selecting someone outside of home and family, as mine in a special way.

We learned how to use the telephone and would have long inane conversations, which according to my parents retelling this in later years, consisted of “Hello Mrs Telephone” and similar statements and then going off into peals of giggles.

So there we were, the blonde with straight hair and the girl with delicious dark curls, first friends. We shared the childhood secrets, played together, and slept over. All the things little girls do. We played, we swam, we read. An abiding passion for us both.

Happy family times in both homes.

When they had a young girl from an orphanage come to spend a holiday I was devastated. She was a bit older than us, and therefore had some magic attraction. My friend wanted to spend time with her!

Another chuildhood first, learning that friendship is about sharing, not only about exclusivity.

We went to playschool, then school, then on to the same university. We left childhood behind, but you never lose the memories, the patterns in the heart and brain that are a friendship.

How lucky I was in my childhood, to have found her as my friend.

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25 thoughts on “Hello Mrs Telephone

  1. I love this post, Sidey.

    I had general friends until, in standard four, I met a special friend and we were almost inseparable, we had so much in common. Circumstances forced us apart in our late teens, but years later we met again and it was as if we had never lost touch.

  2. i find myself bewildered at times looking around wondering how someone is supposed to find a friend when they are “old” like me. 😉 those assumptions that clothed us as girls, that we would have those easy opportunities forever r still hard to let go even though they have let us go. i am fortunate that i have stumbled into this community in the blog-sphere where i can once again where my curls and enjoy being amongst easy but precious company. thk u for these thoughts u invited in. keep on.

  3. Just came from my kid’s summer leadership camp where they make a list of their friends and score them against friendship qualities. I was a little taken back at first but saw some real breakthroughs in the kids when they were thinking about what really makes a good friend. It seems you found one.

  4. Very sweet, lovely story, Sidey. Friendships…the first foray into the complexity of all relationships ~

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