to tassie, with love
It was the skirt I noticed first. Deep in the trenches of my own ripple blanket, the tiny little girl across the room, wearing the most adorable crocheted ripple skirt, grabbed my attention immediately. Like the Very Cool And Normal person that I am, I introduced myself and then skipped the small talk and went straight into gushing about the skirt.
In the way of the mummy circuit in a small town, we continued to cross paths quite a bit. The girls grew, along with our families. They started at the same preschool, and became part of a tight little posse. We discovered we lived only a few houses apart. Birthday parties, art shows, Christmas parties. Then big school came. Butterfly followed her big brothers to the school near our house. The rest of her preschool class, including Miss Awesome Skirt, headed across the river to a different school. In the way of these things, the girls drifted apart.
Mama Awesome Skirt and I continued to see each other at various happenings with our younger children, and kept in touch via Facebook. Not all that long after we started homeschooling, the girls reconnected at afterschool drama, and they were quickly joined at the hip. Much to the “delight” of our neighbours, they worked out where they could stand in our respective back yards to see each other. We managed to distract them from calling to each other, instead encouraging neighbourhood penpals. Weekends would be spent with one girl or another running back and forth popping notes in each other’s mailboxes. Peace descended on the street when both families moved within months of each other.
Sleepovers, zooms, messenger kids. They chatted their way through lockdowns and beyond. One zoom call, I was listening in, and ended up messaging Car. “They have moved from chatting about their day to showing each other their current projects. It’s like listening to us, but thirty years younger”. From that day on, Miss Awesome Skirt became known as “Future Podcast Partner”.
Then. Earlier this year, Butterfly jumped in the car after drama class, heartbreak etched all over her face. Miss Awesome Skirt, Future Podcast Partner, kindred spirit and bosom buddy, the Diana to Butterfly’s Anne, was moving. Not just halfway to nanny & poppy’s house, like last time she moved. To Tasmania. My sweet girl was devastated.
Yesterday, we said our final goodbyes. We’ve adopted large stuffed dogs and favourite outfits and excess craft supplies. We dropped up to pick up one last thing, and I couldn’t leave without a little something to mark this mammoth adventure they are about to undertake. Crafting, as we well know, is my love language, and I couldn’t resist creating some little care packages for the long journey ahead.
For the three girls, I made simple little boxed-bottom bags, from denim and cute fabrics. Inside, I popped a puzzle book, a couple of coloured pacers, and a couple of little treaties – hundreds & thousands tiny teddies. Yummy and snackish without being super sugary, because no-one wants hyped up sugar loaded kids with another 6 hours still to drive!
And I couldn’t leave Mama Awesome Skirt out of the care package love. For her, I cricutted a gold shimmer decal for a travel mug, and sewed up a tea wallet with 4 coffee bags and 4 tea bags in to make the travel and overnight stops a little easier. Motel coffee can be dodgy (there’s not a person alive who can face a day of driving on a cup of International Roast), and sometimes you need a heart starter before waking children and hitting the drive thru for a cuppa. I also snuck in a little box of Roses chocolates, because four days drive alone with three kids needs alllll the treaties a mama can get!
We dropped the parcels off. We picked up a magic kit. Miss Awesome Skirt tried to smuggle Butterfly into the car. Butterfly hugged Miss Awesome Skirt so tight I’m not sure how either of them were breathing. And then it was time. Two heartbroken little girls said their final farewells. Butterfly cried. I cried for her.
Having long distance friends of my own, I know they’ll be fine. The bromance will live on. They’ve already organised a weekly video chat. But when you are 12, and you are used to seeing your bestie on the regular, it is hard to say goodbye. I know myself, saying goodbye to friends moving a long way hurts.. Butterfly is already planning her first happy mail parcel, and campaigning for holiday in Tasmania. It’s something that’s on the cards.
Farewell, Team Awesome Skirt, you will be dearly missed.