Jules is 15 and I met her when she was only five so you could say we have a bond. I've watched her grow from an adorable, freckly little thing into a self-possessed, wise and witty high schooler.
she's one of my most favorite people in the world.
anyway it was a pleasant surprise to see her on the platform. it was pretty much a shock to step onto the train when it arrived to a chorus of teen girl squeals.
like six of her friends were on the exact car we got on, and apparently they didn't plan that ahead of time.
I confess I felt like a huge nerd, sitting there next to Jules among all her friends. they were dressed in that way I can't figure out: ridiculously cool but where did they learn? and how? why don't kids today have to endure tacky trends and hideous clothing that will cause them great shame, even two decades later?
the conversation was rapid-fire and I was hopelessly lost, but I didn't dare ask for clarification on whom or what they were talking about. I didn't want to embarass Jules. so I just sipped my Red Bull (do cool kids still drink that? probably not. it's the farthest thing from sustainable.)
I thought of myself and my friends at that age and what out conversations sounded like. I know they were laced with ridiculous inside jokes and plentiful gossip and gripes about teachers and classwork.
so maybe not much has changed in the last 15 years, excluding this preternatural fashion sense.
the friends got off two stops later but Jules stayed on, even though they were all going to the same place. she swore she preferred the F to the A, but I suspected she felt bad abandoning me.
at least that's how I probably would have felt when I was her age.
it gave us a chance to chat, at least, which was nice. I know six or seven years ago she looked up to me, but sometime in the last two years our roles reversed. she's a hundred times smarter than I'll ever be and I love it.
anyway, I saw her again the other night at a birthday shindig for my future mother-in-law. sometime between dinner and cake she hit me with this awesome bit: "my friends asked me that day who the lady was on the train with me."
I'm not even kidding, my heart sunk. I felt it.
it's one thing to be called ma'am by a store clerk. to be referred to as a lady by high school sophomores makes it undeniable.
I am old.
or, at least, I'm not as young as I feel. I am officially in a whole other category from the youth in this world (aka People Too Sqare to Deal With). and obviously that's a good thing. I'm succeeding at seeming like a grown up, which is the idea, right?
still. one is never prepared for the Oz-like moment when the curtain is pulled back and one is revealed to be exactly what she is.
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