The other night, I attended “Pioneer Night” at Elijah’s school. The third graders put on a pretty great play recreating The Oregon Trail video game, complete with a couple youngsters getting dysentery.
But the highlight was a glorious square dance performed in clunky, prepubescent glee. Eli’s dance partner was Kylie.
Kylie is Eli’s first love. She’s adorable and happy and funny and so skinny she barely occupies space in our dimension.
Eli and Kylie were inseparable this year. They had countless play dates and even a few sleep overs. Don’t get all weird about a boy and a girl having a sleep over. They’re 9, get your head out of the gutter.
Eli once told me, “Kyle is the only person I can say really personal things to.”
“Like, ‘I hate this person or that person.’”
So of course she is moving to Iowa at the end of the summer.
Because apparently the universe felt the need to teach Eli about Existential Despair. Sheesh. Why in the world does the love of your life have to move away at 9? Is his life story being written by Samuel Beckett (according to Google, he’s the 20th century’s most depressing writer)?
When Diana told Eli the news, he melted off our couch and laid face down on our floor for seemingly hours. I wanted to blow up Iowa so Kylie would stay. I wanted to throw all of the Corn in Iowa into the ocean. I wanted to punch one of Iowa State’s famous collegiate wrestlers right in his face.
Can you tell I’m still not over Amy Crupernink moving away when I was 9?
But unlike Amy Crupernink, Eli lives in the Facebook era and Kylie’s mom and Diana are real friends and digital friends. So maybe they can meet up years later and play “Tickle Monster” together when they are 30. But it will mean something completely different.
Good luck out there in the corn, Kylie. We’ll miss you.