Lauren met Paul last year in her preK class.
They apparently hit it off immediately. There was some kind of connection there. They gazed at each other from across the legos and knew they were kindred spirits.
For several months, I heard all about Paul. There was a small communication problem, though. To the ears of a 5-yr-old, the name "Paul" sounded awfully similar to the word "paw".
For weeks, I was under the impression my daughter was enamored with a boy named after a dog's foot. Or maybe named after the crush of my life, Michael Landon, in his famous role as "Pa" on Little House. Either way, I was pretty sure there was some communication problems going on here, but I gave up trying to convince her his name was most likely Paul. She would have none of it.
Paul came over to play towards the end of the preK year. He and Lauren had a fabulous time finding rocks outside, sharing a snack, and in general enjoying life as only 5-yr-olds can do.
Then, came the painful truth. The day they had been dreading for the entire academic year was upon them.
They were preK graduates.
Gone were the Tuesday and Friday mornings when they would gleefully paste and cut and share goldfish. From now on, they would be friends only from a distance.
This was a pretty big disappointment at our house.
Happily, we discovered that Paul was attending VBS and Lauren got to see him there for a whole week. I mean, seriously, the two best things in the whole world together at the same place? (Jesus and Paul in case you were wondering.)
It was a happy week just to know Paul was in the same building.
But then, as all good things do, VBS came to an end. For several months Lauren reminisced about happy times with Paul and all the fun they had had together.
"Those were the days," she said. She was a little like a weathered, middle-aged woman remembering the glory days. And like we all do, she seemed to have forgotten about their "break-up" where their "engagement" was broken off due to a disagreement over who should sit where during lunch one day.
A couple weeks ago, Lauren won the lottery (in her mind, anyway).
The phone rang.
It was Paul's mom!
Paul had been asking about Lauren. When his mom hesitated for just a moment, trying to remember who exactly Lauren was, he burst into tears.
"Who is Lauren? WHO IS LAUREN?"
"Only the coolest girl in the whole wide world, Mom. Look at that tattoo on her arm."
We set up a playdate at a park. The two smiled hugely at one another and then ran off to play on the slide and playground equipment, where Paul showed all of us his impressive monkey bar skills.
Later, we all enjoyed the figs Paul had insisted on picking from their fig trees to share with Lauren. He also brought apple slices.
I had to admire this boy. Health food and exercise on his playdate.
I don't know where Lauren's future with Paul will lead. But I do know one thing...she is a girl who is not easily forgotten.
Hope to see you soon, "paw".