I am 11. I meet the best friends ever. I discover that I have been missing out. Forget gymnastics and shopping: My new friends like to go hiking, write stories, wade in the river behind the school, go to the mall and play tag.
We are special, close-knit, creative. We have arts-and-crafts parties. We have sleepovers and play Chubby Bunnies, a game that entails stuffing our mouths with as many marshmallows as possible, pausing between each one to say, “Chubby Bunnies.” We find cards depicting strange animals, like the proboscis monkey or Amazonian centipede, so funny that we fall off the couch laughing. We have water balloon fights at a condominium complex.
We concoct bizarre compounds in the kitchen, holding contests to determine who can make the grossest mixture. We play truth or dare, knocking on neighbors’ windows and making prank calls. We trespass on the property of an unoccupied house, which has a lovely little bridge over a stream. We create our own fun, and we ignore the jabs of less-fun but better regarded peers.
We are kids. We are in no hurry to grow up.