Last week, I ran away to Hogwarts.
I ran away with my BFF from 7th grade, and the second our plane left the ground, we were 13 again. We watched Zoolander with shared headphones. We laughed until we were purple about the guy next to me who couldn’t stop farting. We shared snacks and ate until we felt sick.
This trip was our Mother’s Day present to ourselves, a chance to escape the responsibilities of motherhood and act like kids again.
So we made the most of it.
I had lost touch with this friend after high school graduation. For nearly a decade, we didn’t see each other. But recently, when she moved back to the area, we reconnected, and I’m so glad that we did.
I was ecstatic to learn that a decade had both changed nothing and everything.
In some ways, nothing has changed. Fart jokes are still hilarious. Zoolander still makes us laugh. Ice cream is still a meal, then a snack, and then a meal again an hour later. And Harry Potter is still totally magical.
But time has also changed everything. We are both seasoned by brokenness and loss, and we are better people for it. Time has opened the channel of honesty between us, and truth floods through it. We aren’t pretending to be what we’re not. We just are, which is what we couldn’t be in our teenage years because we did not yet know how.
I see her, I know her, and I love her.
And I think that love is reciprocated. I wasn’t embarrassed to tell her that my legs were chaffing so badly that I could hardly walk after our first day of vacation, and she shared in my self-deprecating laughter when we couldn’t find any powder at the store. But she didn’t laugh when I bought Desitin instead and then waddled out of the store like a saddlesore toddler.
Well, she didn’t laugh hard.
I can’t think of a better person to walk with me through the brick wall into Diagon Alley, into that place where the magic of childhood takes over.
I can’t think of a better person to join me in that place where time stops and then becomes fluid, past and present and future mingling, into that place where friendship is celebrated above all other virtues.
I can’t think of a better person to hold my hand as we scream on a rollercoaster. I can’t think of a better person to watch reruns of American Ninja Warrior with me. I can’t think of a better person to shop for seedy souvenirs with me after we eat our fill of cheap Indian curry.
Running away to Hogwarts made it possible to come back to our responsibilities with a sense of childlike enthusiasm and a sense of gratitude that the magic of our friendship is indeed quite real.
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