You see, I came to America 35 years ago and because I didn’t speak any English, I seldom watch television. While kids in my school and neighborhood could name all the Sesame Street characters, I had no clue what the show was about or who the Blue Monster was.
That was until one day in second grade, at Morgan Elementary back home when Cookie Monster showed up at school and peeked in our class window. While the other kids screeched in excitement, I screamed in terror.
I was so frightened that the teacher had to console me and explained that this ENORMOUS fury blue creature was indeed very friendly and would not harm me. Later I found out it was the teacher’s boyfriend underneath the costume.
From that day forth, Cookie Monster and I never connected. However, thanks to my good buddies Greg and Kirk, I’ve never lived that day down.
After second grade our family moved and I finished the rest of grammar school at another elementary school. By this time, my English became almost fluent and I could name all of the Sesame Street characters but still didn’t care to watch the show. I thought it would be good keep up with the other kids. That’s all.
Cookie Monster was now a memory of the past….until I walked into a classroom across town where my parents enrolled me into a French exchange program with 20 other students from all over our city. We all commuted to this west side school once a week where we spent the day learning about France, the culture, food, and language in preparation for our trip to Paris. Who did I spot upon my first day of the program? The boys from second grade, Greg and Kirk who witnessed my embarrassing Cookie Monster episode. Of course I couldn’t escape the reminder of the day when Cookie Monster came to class. Boys will be boys!
Preparing to Square Dance in France (for French audience) Kirk (back), Greg (front)
Touring a French Castle South of Paris (Kirk in background)
These boys have become a couple of amazing men, husbands, and fathers. Although we all live in different states, thousands of miles apart, somehow we manage to reconnect every few years. As a matter of fact, Kirk and I found out through our updates on Facebook that we were both vacationing at the same time in Hawaii last summer and were able to reunite with our spouses for an evening out. This is why Facebook has grown on me!
It’s been a few decades since the Cookie Monster episode from second grade; experiencing French culture together in Paris, to recently hanging out on the rooftop at The Palms in Las Vegas. We hadn’t planned on being in Vegas together but found out that we were all going to be there the same weekend. How awesome was that!!
I believe in divine connections and some people are just meant to be apart of your journey and life. After all, Greg and Kirk were a part of a small group of friends who contributed significantly by helping me to acclimate in this new world; for that, I’m grateful and blessed to have them as my dear friends.
Greg, Kirk & I @ The Palms, Vegas Oct. 2010
Celebrating Greg’s wife Lori’s birthday: at The Aria Hotel, Vegas Oct. 2010
Greg, Kirk & I, Christmas 2006 (at Kirk’s parents)