This is What Fifth Grade Friendship Looks Like

You all know that I’m always looking for the type of bestie I had when I was eleven. There are no friendships quite like the ones from our youth–when our friends were our everything. So I’ve loved hanging out over the past couple of days with my 11-year-old cousin, who last night gave me the BFF tour through her elementary school photos. She is me, about 20 years ago.

Today, I asked her to write my blog post. I wanted to read about childhood BFFs from someone in the trenches. To see what true friendship is from a 6th grade point of view. She was nice enough to oblige and — though, yes, I might be a bit biased toward my awesome family — I think it’s fantastic. A great throwback to the time when true friendship was as simple as riding a roller coaster side by side.

*            *            *

            I looked up and saw the tallest rollercoaster in the world and told myself, “Anna you are not doing this.”  I was in New Jersey at Six Flags Great Adventure for my friend’s graduation party.  “Guys we have to do this,” my friend Cary said.  I looked at Maya, my best friend, and I whispered, “Maya, I don’t feel safe doing this, but Cary is going to make me look like a loser if I don’t.”

“If you don’t do this you will feel bad after,” Cary snapped again.  I know she just wanted us to have a wondrous time but I was frightened.  I was so scared. Nothing was scarier then Kingda ka, the fastest, tallest rollercoaster in the world.  I did not have anything to compare it too.  Maya whispered to me, “Anna, I am not doing this I don’t feel safe.”  So when Cary and Sarah (my other great friend) went on the most petrifying ride of their life, Maya and I waited at the bottom, feeling like chickens.

Cary and Sarah got off like they had the ride of their lives.  They were giggling and having a blast, making Maya and me want do it so we would not be left out.  “That was the best ride ever!” Sarah said.

Cary spoke up, “You guys have to do it or you will regret it for ever.”

Maya looked at me, “Anna we should do it, I would never pressure you in doing anything that’s not safe.  You have to trust me.” Who would I trust more than my best friend, I thought.

“Maya you’re right, I am not going to chicken out, lets go!” I said.

Even though I was going on Kingda ka no matter what, I was really worried.  I had no idea what I was in for.

“Maya” I said. “I am really scared, what if the ride is really frightening? The only reason I am doing this is because you’re riding with me.” All these breath-taking thoughts were rushing through my head like electricity.

“Anna” Maya said, “Don’t worry you can ride next to me and hold my hand, I will keep you safe.” Maya made me feel much better. That’s what friends are for I thought.  I am so happy I have a best friend like Maya, I could not ask for a better best friend.  Before I knew it kingda ka was over.  I could not believe I did it. I was so proud of myself, but mostly Maya for being so brave and caring.  Maya’s words and wisdom made the best moment of my life happen.

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So great, right? Tell me: What’s your favorite childhood friendship memory?

12 Comments

Filed under The Search

12 responses to “This is What Fifth Grade Friendship Looks Like

  1. Mom

    Wow, Anna! Well done. I’m a proud great aunt.

  2. Wow, Anna, well done! You will remember that moment with Maya your whole life. That is exciting.

  3. Your little cousin did an excellent job with this post!!!!! Great Job Anna! How ironic, I just tweeted an old memory from my childhood about my childhood BFF. I remember the two of us sitting in her bedroom while she intently listened to my poems that I wrote. She was so excited for me and very supportive too. She is the reason why I am a writer. She was my first fan and my first critic. She is very, very intelligent now and was back then. She would always offer me bigger words to replace the small “childish” words that my nine year old self was using. Hilarious! My first big word was benevolent. She told me to replace the word nice with benevolent. I had no idea if she had any idea what the word really meant, but just like Anna, I trusted my best friend. She would never hurt me or steer me in the wrong direction.

  4. luckygurl

    Man, this made me tear up. This is absolutely what best friends are for–to push you to believe in yourself, and to hold your hand when you’re feeling scared. Way to go, Maya and Anna! You guys are inspiring.

  5. How Fun!!! Such a nice reminder of how simple friendships should be ;)

  6. I love this post. Great call getting the scoop from the source. Thanks for sharing!

  7. quetzalcotl

    Wow, Anna, that’s a lovely story. You should start your own blog. :)

    I guess I’m the Maya in my best friends’ lives; we’ve been friends for years and I remember always checking up on them, giving advice, and letting them know that I’m always there for them when they need me.

  8. Reblogged this on Wife – in captivity and commented:
    Great post by Rachel Bertsche and her cousin about the essence of BFF.

  9. Anna, you should be very proud. What a well written blog and excellent explanation of your personal experience.
    Today I was at a friend’s barbeque and 1 of my BFFs from when we met in 5th grade was there. She ended up eating some corn on the cob and got a piece stuck in her teeth that she couldn’t get out.
    I went with her to the bathroom and got it out, but it wasn’t easy.
    My husband was grossed out, but he was the only one who knew.
    My friend and I always did things like that for each other.
    I hope it never stops.

  10. This is so great! I’m so glad I’ve kept in contact with my 6th grade besty but this makes me realize that we don’t talk near enough. You’ve inspired me to schedule a lunch date with her to share memories like this one. ;-)

  11. Ah, how precious an innocent childhood friendship is. I would have to say my favorite is getting together in the afternoons with my best friend and putting together “potions” and “perfumes” to sell in our neighborhood. We would mix and mash together flowers, grass, basically anything we could find and bottle it up and sell it, literally, door to door to our neighbors. God bless them! (:

  12. Aww, that’s wonderful. When my niece talks about her best friends, it seems its a new girl every class year. I then tell her about my BFFs, one who cycled across an unsafe town to see me when I was sick so she could bring me flowers. She got into big trouble with her mom after that, since we were only 8 then. Or the BFF who had an appendicitis operation when we were 12, so I carried her school bag for a month. Or the BFF who would create a new comic book on me every semester when we were teenagers. The best friends I had since I was 6 are still the ones that are closest to my heart, even more than 25 years later.

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