What do dill pickle juice and Ruben sandwiches have in common? They were the staple of Beth McWeeney and I every Saturday of our 7th grade year. I'm still not a big fan of Ruben's but I definitely still love dill pickles (not so much just drinking the juice~insert shutter here). And when pomegranates were in season we would add them into the mix and make a mess in the backyard. Looking back, now that I am a mother, I'm pretty sure Beth's mom was pleased that the mess was kept outside.
When we weren't eating Beth's parents out of house and home we were using our imaginations to the hilt. Whether Barbies or baby dolls our days were filled with adventures in imaginary worlds. There weren't any other girls our age who were really into playing with dolls or barbies so we kept to ourselves when it came to our weekend play dates. Were we stranger than the other girls, or some might say simply late bloomers? When I was eleven I'm not sure I even contemplated what a late bloomer was let alone ruminated on whether or not I fit the category.
Do we allow children to be themselves? Or do we put them into categories and treat them accordingly? The jocks play together. The mods dress together. The drama geeks act together. The video gamers XBox together. But, are we all really that different? Certainly we all have at least one common interest we can banter back and forth about. As adults, does a conversation about the weather indicate we don't think we have anything in common with the person we are interacting with at the moment? How do we break the ice, come out of our shells, and reach out to those who we are most unlikely to ever spend time with? You never know~you just might meet an amazing person you eventually wonder how you ever lived without them.