In a day, I’m going to go spend a few weeks with my sister.
Since I work from home, it’s fairly easy to travel to my sister’s place and stay over for extensive amounts of time. All I need to work is my laptop, a solid internet connection, the use of my hands, and my brain. The only real hassle in visiting Alya is the long drive.
I have found myself reminiscing about all the time she and I used to spend together.
We are/were each other’s best friend. We never really spent time apart from each other until she got married. This was due to the fact that we lived together, shared a bedroom, and couldn’t understand other people nearly as much as we understood each other.
As kids, we didn’t get out much. You know that ’80s nostalgia that’s been going around, with movies and TV shows about kids who leave their backyards to have wild adventures with aliens and other dimensions?
That was never me and Alya.
Our parents are of the “helicopter” generation of parents. Well, mostly my mother. We were never allowed to go out by ourselves when we were young. And since we lived twenty miles away from our school and most of our friends, we couldn’t easily walk over to hang out with classmates anyways.
So we made do with each other.
Our favorite thing to do was pretend we were other people. Cool people, not boring people. We would pretend we were in Middle-Earth slaying Uruk-Hai or that we were in Jurassic Park and a T. Rex was trying to eat us. One time, we pretended we were monkeys and we climbed our next-door neighbor’s tree. The looks they gave us made us never do that again. They weren’t mad. But they looked at us as if we were crazy.
On quieter days, Alya and I would do “Couch Boat.”
For those of you who don’t know what Couch Boat is, it’s when you pretend that your living room couch is an island in a vast ocean, an isolated spot you can only leave with great difficulty. Alya and I would gather up our most entertaining belongings (stuffed animals, blankets, action figures, books, markers) and climb aboard the Couch Boat.
And then we’d just stay there.
Sometimes we’d put on a movie in the background, but for the most part, we’d just float along alone together.
As I’m writing this down, it makes us sound incredibly unhealthy. We did run around in our childhood, okay? We got exercise. We were not just sedentary couch potatoes.
But on a Saturday morning, sometimes there was nothing better to do than good old Couch Boat.
Our Couch Boat these days has evolved. We bring tablets, lesson plans, notebooks, and coffee to the couch now. We do work together separately. But sometimes we’ll put on a movie we’ve seen a million times in the background. And we still pretend we can’t leave the Couch Boat. Well, we don’t actively pretend.
It just goes without saying.