Sunday, July 08, 2007

Best Buddies

Julie and Richard have always been best buddies. From the very beginning, they liked each other and got along well. Not that they didn't have conflict, all human beings have conflict, times when what one wants is what the other doesn't want. But their good times always way out weighed their not-so-good times; I don't think they ever had bad times.

I read once that a good candid picture of people shows their relationship. And you can tell how they feel about each other according to where they are looking. In the six candid shots here, Julie is always looking at Richard or where he is indicating she should look, and in most of them he is looking at her or showing her where to look.

Here they are again. Gazing fondly at each other. The world is full of interesting things, and they share them with each other.

We spent so many days in Berkeley with them in this stroller. At first Richard rode in the back; when he walked beside or ran ahead, he was always circling back to check in with Julie. Before she could talk, she made motions and he told me what she wanted. He was always right.

As long as Julie had Richard, there was someone on her side, someone who made sure she got what she needed, that she wasn't ever overlooked. I can remember giving him a treat and him asking, "What about Julie?"

Here they are, with him leading the way to the Christmas stockings. And how, you may ask, do children who are brought up to understand that Santa is a story, deal with stockings? Well, Christmas Eve, Richard and I filled Julie's stocking, and Julie and I filled Richard's, and they filled mine. Same with hiding Easter eggs.

The pajamas Richard is wearing here were a gift from Daddy, with cowboys on them. My favorite part of these pjs was that they were so close to the color of his hair.

Looking at Julie stepping up the hearth, I marvel at how children manage to get around in a world obviously designed for adults.

This is in our Fairbanks garden. Richard is pointing to the plant and Julie is listening to what he has to say, because of course he knows. He always knows. He is two years older and so much more experienced.

They both helped with this garden. Putting up the chicken wire fence that kept Samantha out, re-digging after Samantha had rolled the rototilled earth flat (obviously before we got the chicken wire up), measuring the space between rows, planting, weeding, watering, harvesting. I was out in the garden, there they were with their tools. The two of them using the tape measure to show me the correct distance between rows, with Richard consulting the plans and reading, "tomatoes next, so we need 24 inches."

This was taken one summer when we spent a month in California. We were staying with Aunt Flo for this week, and Aunt Flo lived in Aptos in an apartment on the cliffs above the beach. In the morning we would sit on the patio and drink coffee and watch the pelicans teach their young to fish. The kids, of course, had cocoa or orange juice. They both had a lovely time.

Aunt Flo and my parents had paid our way, since it was cheaper to bring the three of us to the family than the entire family to us. It is nice to know you're loved.

And, finally, they grew up. Notice that Richard has no idea what to do with a baby, and Julie still wants to share her every treasure with him. Luckily Maya is a very calm and accepting child.

One of Richard's friends once asked him if he was jealous of all the attention that I gave Julie's baby, and he answered, "Of course not. Maya is the future of our family."

So, even if he didn't quite know what to do with her at first, she is his treasure, too.

And this is the last picture I have of the two of them. Richard lives eight blocks from my place, and Julie lives 1,476 miles from us. When they get together, it is because Richard and Kathy have gone to California, and I'm not there with a camera.

They are endlessly proud of each other and pleased with each other. Alike in some ways, totally different in others.


jay lassiter said...

It's so stunning that i feel like I know Julie so well from reading your tales and her blog.

Starting out blogging i never realized how intimately i would come to know people i never actually met. Likewise how these relationships have lessons, too.

I guess I am a bit jealous of J and R being so close in age to foster a closeness me and my brother never had. I guess a little luck is involved anytime a bond is forged so strongly. It sure beats making up for lost time?

Maya's Granny said...

Isn't it amazing, how these friendships grow on words alone? And how deep they become?

I also am a bit jealous of J and R -- Forrest is 5 years younger than me; our relationship is loving but not as close as J & R. Colleen was 10 years younger, and I was never close to close with her.

Mama and Aunt Flo are 16 months apart and they also have that very close relationship.

Betty said...

My children have always been very close, too, except for that brief unpleasantness called the teenage years. Things got pretty noisy then, but they came through it closer than ever.

Joy Des Jardins said...

J...these pictures of Julie and Richard over the years are so loving. From little babies to adults...stages of their warm and loving's very endearing to say the least. Thank you for posting them. You have two beautiful children....with truly beautiful souls.

Fun Girls said...

Your blog caught my eye from Angry Black Bitch's Blog roll because my step-sister is named Maya too. I was so suprised to find your Maya named after my Maya! I was an only child until I was 10, when my folks divorced and my father married a woman with twins (one of whom was my 3rd grade best friends). The adjustment was so difficult I am only now beginning to see all the ways it changed me...mostly good growing, streching change with a little retreating thrown in. I feel so lucky to have siblings in my life and would do all the hardships again 5 fold to have them as family again.