From second grade to the sixth grade, she was everything I wanted to be. She wasn't just smart, she was adult-like smart. And the teachers love that in a kid. She grew up watching Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers Neighborhood. She wasn't allowed to eat candy, except on Sundays. That was a special treat in her family, on that one day, to get to choose several candy treats. She never bothered to beg for treats during the week, because she knew Sunday would come. I, on the other hand, would always sneak candy bars in my Raggedy Ann sleeping bag, over to her house whenever I spent the night. And her mother always seemed to know!! No matter how quietly we would unwrap those darn things, Mrs. Robinson would call down to us: "Alright Miss Laura, put that candy away this minute!" Caught once again.
Her name was Kristin Robinson, (I called her Krissy) and she lived just up the street. We played together all the time. I was in awe of her collection of Kiddles, and her tea parties. Best of all, she shared my love of playing house. We would spend hours being the mothers of our cherished Baby Tender Love dolls. One day, while we were playing mothers, Krissy looked up proudly, and announced "I'm going to be a pediatrician when I grow up." We were about eight at the time. I believe my reply was "Whats a pediatrician?" For some reason, I thought it had something to do with being the president. Which by the way, she certainly could have been that too!! She already knew what a Democrat and a Republican was! I thought they were spiders.
Krissy was a leader in every way and in every situation that came up. Any time I was stuck on a homework problem, I just had to call her up. She would never give me the answer. Not ever. Instead, she would patiently explain to me how to understand the problem, and find the answer. That same patience was there when she spent something like three weeks trying to teach me how to do a simple backbend. Or maybe it was a cartwheel. Probably both.
I was a real klutz.
Sadly, along came junior high, and I became an obnoxious brat. Krissy went on to make new friends, and plan a successful future. By the 8th grade, I felt lost without her, but was too embarrassed to try to be her friend again, after the way I had acted in 7th grade. So I did what all obnoxious brats do: I pretended that I didn't care about her, and I networked with other obnoxious brats.
In high school, I continued my struggle to figure out who and what I was going to be, while Krissy had grown into a beautiful, happy, strait A student who knew exactly where she was going, and nothing would get in her way. We always smiled and said hi to
each other in the halls, but I'm sure she must've been shaking her head, and thinking "What happened to you Laura? You better get it together before it's too late"
I miss her. All kids need a best friend when they are eight. And its sad when one of them screws things up later on.
Krissy did grow up to be a pediatrician by the way. And I still think she would have been a great president as well.