Home > Childhood Memories, Friendship, Love > Close Encounters of the Boy-Girl Kind

Close Encounters of the Boy-Girl Kind

“There is a garden in every childhood, an enchanted place where colors are brighter, the air softer, and the morning more fragrant than ever again.” Elizabeth Lawrence

I love the ease that comes with the close encounters of a playdate-kind. The ones that are shared between boys and girls, say… before the age of twelve, before things start to get weird between the sexes. There’s something magical about the way they interact; without judgment or concern, self-consciousness or worry. They’re simply honest and fun-loving with each another.

"Xbox Dance!"

I heard the laughter coming from the basement. It was a deep, it was loud. It was the kind that makes you run toward it because you want to be a part of whatever is causing such joy. My ten-year-old daughter’s happiest days seem to be when she’s having a play-mate over. She loves her gal-pals with all her heart but there’s something very special about spending time with the boy– friend who’ll explore the woods with her, go the distance in an Xbox dance-off or eagerly engage her in a round of laser tag. It allows for friendship which is what boys and girls share when they’re not trying to impress one another. It’s not like a brother or sister relationship either, there’s no jealousy or rivalry to taint the waters. It’s a bond that’s made to be cherished well into adulthood. It’s not forgotten.

My friend’s name was Walter. He gave me the most beautiful multi-colored, flowered-dress for my 10th birthday. One time his parents took me and him sleigh-riding Upstate. His mom brought hot-cocoa in a thermos for us. My love for Walter is genuine. It holds a forever-place in my heart and it has nothing to do with romance. In fact, it never really occurred to me that Walter was a boy. His gender was never on my radar and didn’t seem important when we played games, went sleigh-riding or explored the woods together. He was my friend and having been fortunate enough to have shared a friendship like that, it’s easy to recognize it now as an adult, when I see it.

There’s something very lovely about observing a friendship your child shares with a member of the opposite sex, especially at a time in their lives when they are exploring and experimenting with independence but are still young and naive enough to really enjoy one another’s company. It’s pure. As a parent, you do your best to encourage it, foster it, allow it to grow and hope that when those weird years arrive and they do arrive, somewhere in the back of their heads and hearts they’ll both remember, they’re just boys or just girls. Behind their new-found bravado and all the pretending not to care that comes with it, we they all really want the same things, boys and girls that is: to be loved, to be respected and to be-befriended.

Do you have a friend of the opposite sex that you remember fondly from your childhood?

Photo Credits #1-4:  Karen Szczuka Teich & http://www.takingtheworldonwithasmile.com

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  1. February 12, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    Nice post Karen. Oddly enough, I didn’t have any girl-friends growing up. I pretty much hung around with boys. I think I was missing out on something.

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  2. February 12, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    Thanks so much for reading & commenting, Karl. I really do feel fortunate to have the memories for myself and grateful that I can see it unfold for my daughter, as well.

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  3. Julie
    February 12, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    Beautiful! Yes and I am going to call my friend right now. It just occured to me that the last three times I saw him were when his Mother and Father and my Father passed. Makes one think about life that is for sure.

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  4. February 12, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    Thank you so much for stopping by, reading & commenting Julie and so happy you are going to contact your friend!

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  5. February 14, 2012 at 2:48 am

    Karen, this was a great post and terrific pictures. As you know, my Maycee has a best “boyfriend” who even spends the night and hangs with us to the point of being like a second child to me these days. Maycee made him a paper Valentine tonight because he’s special-her words. I didn’t have any boyfriends as a young girl, but had more than a few terrific best buds as a young teen and in my college years. Unfortunately, you are correct, that the waters get muddy as we age, and even those precious friendships became tainted by “opposite sex stuff” eventually. Now, I’m back to having male friends, but I feel like I can have them because I’m in a relationship that’s solid-thus allowing me to enjoy platonic friendships where the other guys understand the lines. I hope for Hannah and Maycee that they keeps these friendships beyond the yucky years. 😉 XOXO

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  6. February 14, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    I was thinking of Maycee too when I wrote this Kasey, as you have mentioned her friend to me. Very sweet. I too hope they keep these friendships throughout the awkward years and if not, no doubt, they will look back fondly on them. As always, thanks for reading and commenting!

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  7. Anonymous
    February 22, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    Great post Karen! My best friend growing up was a boy named Ryan, then we both moved away unfortunately. However, I have a group of best guy friends now for almost 8 years and they are the best ever! I hope she can keep these close friends!

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    • Anonymous
      February 22, 2012 at 1:18 pm

      This is nicole by the way..ahah forgot to enter my name!

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  8. February 22, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    Me too, Nicole… hey did you recognize the other clown as Leo?? Ha, Ha! They’re sooo cute. Thanks so much for reading & commenting!

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  9. February 27, 2012 at 1:19 am

    Cute kids Karen…Opposite sex friendships never get old.

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  10. February 27, 2012 at 7:25 am

    No I guess they don’t. Certainly, the good ones never get forgotten. Thanks for reading/commenting, Andy!

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