Friday, April 13, 2012

she's funny.

I used my most recent trip to Charleston as an opportunity to surprise my childhood best friend Danielle's daughter Karson at school. Her third grade class' study of South Carolina history concluded with "South Carolina Day" which included a singing performance of some of the state's biggest hits.

Karson is one of the few people I have known for her entire life. I was at the hospital when she was born and have had the privilege of watching her grow up to be a pretty cool kid. I wasn't physically present when she started walking and talking or on her first day of school, but her mom keeps me in the know of her latest milestones and I'm always amazed.

I feel blessed to know her so well.

Cliche though it may be, watching Karson and her classmates performing, "Nothing Could be Finer Than to Be in Carolina," was just a reminder of how old she's getting. Not that I needed reminding. The baby that I once knew is now a little person and it completely freaks me out. I can't imagine how her mother feels.

After her performance was over, we decided to go for ice cream. Karson requested to ride in my car - a request that evoked equal parts delight and fear - I love that she thinks I'm as cool as Lady Gaga, but since no one ever rides in my car, I was worried about what she might find in my backseat.
As I pulled out of the parking lot, Karson took a look around at all of the other students leaving and said, "Looks like everybody's busting out of here early. I don't blame them! Let's move."

I laughed at her remarks. She laughed at me.

Karson promised to give me directions to the ice cream parlor and when I arrived at a stop sign I said, "Ok, which way?"

"Left," she said, and I started to lift my foot off the brake.

"No. Right!," she shouted, giggling.

"I mean, straight!"

I pressed the brake and turned around, to find Karson in the back seat, hands over mouth trying to contain her laughter.

"Kidding . . .kidding," she said sarcastically, lifting her hand and waving like an old lady denying a compliment.

Another milestone. My favorite so far.

The girl is funny. Really funny.

Later that day, Danielle told me she's ready for me to, "Get married, settle down and move back to Charleston." Her demands are nothing new - she has been saying this to me for a while. Never to be outdone, Karson overheard our conversation and said, while hula-hooping, "Stay single! Enjoy your life!"
Did I mention she's NINE years old?

I suppose Karson's ability to make me laugh shouldn't come as a surprise - her mother has been making me laugh for years.

But for some reason, her affinity for sarcasm and practical jokes has surprised me more than any of her other milestones. I knew she'd walk and talk - but funny? Funny wasn't guaranteed. But she is. My heart is full.
Thanks to our strawberry blonde hair and freckled skin, when people see us together they assume that she's mine. I couldn't be prouder if she was.


  1. Oh, it's amazing to see the kids you know from birth grow up and turn from babies into individuals. My oldest godson is now 18. It's shocking but also kinda cool when you can talk politics, music and literature with someone you previously wiped spit of the face:) Great post.

  2. Karson's right. One of the funniest (and perhaps honest) things I was told while pregnant w/ my first was....."I love my kids but they're overrated." Now, this was in NYC where people are refreshingly more candid than down south (where I KNOW people sometimes think it, but wouldn't dare say it aloud). This doesn't mean we don't love or cherish our kids, or regret having them. NO WAY - but they change everything. So definitely travel your ass off before you take the plunge, IF you decide to, that is. Yes, Atlanta is taking some getting used to, I'd say.

  3. How adorable!!! She *totally* looks like she could be yours!

    And how fun is this post...

    My oldest is 14 and she thinks I'm about the lamest thing around right now (when does this stage end???). Would be *SO* fun to have my old best friend around with her girls. Would've loved to stay super close & have the four kids growing up together... Ahh, still...

    So so so cool that you're part of Karson's life this way. I'm betting that she's gonna remember this, and these moments with you, for a loooooong time to come :-)

  4. It is so great to get a peek at the relationship you have here -- you, Karson, and Danielle must all feel so lucky! It is truly mind-splitting when you begin to see glimpses of real humor in a child. Mine are showing a little now, even though they're young. They'll keep US young through laughter, right?!

  5. Ha ha oh Karson what a sweetie! My son told his first joke the other day and I told him, "I think I'll keep you forever now." We race to try to give our kids so much: the best education, the best food, the best stuff but really if we arm them with humility and humor I think they'll be just fine.

  6. Gorgeous photos! Karson is so fortunate to have you in her life. An adult friend with whom she's building precious memories!

  7. I love Charleston! Just spent a day there last month and my brother is getting married there next month. Whoo HOo!

  8. My YOUNGEST is now in the fourth grade! It's amazing how fast they grow.. and how much they KNOW and learn and can discuss intelligently so young!

  9. What a great story! Isn't it fun to have a surrogate child you can hang out with and enjoy when you yourself dont' have children?! Sounds like you had a blast and she did too!

  10. Makes me want to get in touch with my childhood friend who used to make me laugh til tears rolled down my face. What a beautiful story...thanks for sharing it :)

  11. Wow! What a twist at the end. She totally looks like you. I had to scroll through the pictures again to confirm who was the real mom. Humor is one of the things I miss most about teaching 6th grade - they really do say and do the funniest things. Priceless!