When I was in 3rd grade, I told a classmate of mine that I loved her. I didn't know what love meant or what it was, I only knew I wanted to talk to her everyday.
The second week of school, I wanted to pass her note. It said:
I think yr cool. :)
But she sat on the other side of the classroom. So I devised a plan. I was going to find a reason to walk past her desk, then drop the note on her desk, like a spy (I actually remember thinking super spy). So, naturally, when the teacher left the room for a second, I got up. Walked over to her desk and gave her the note. There was absolutely nothing cool/super spy about it. I walked back to my desk sat down and stared at her as she unfolded the piece of paper. I watched her eyes read the four words and the little happy face I drew for her. She folded it back up, looked at me, and smiled. I smiled the nerdiest smile back to her. It worked, I thought.
We spent the next couple of weeks passing notes to each other. They said things like,
I think u r pretty!
I rlly like you.
Eventually, we started sitting together at lunch. We'd talk about anything and everything, our favorite parts of the playground, our teacher and her coffee breath, and our favorite colors. When we found out we both liked the color orange, we high-fived and started discussing the other kinds of orange there is to like. She liked brown-orange. I liked red-orange. We both liked fall. When it was time for outdoor recess, we'd play pretend and re-enact all of our favorite scenes from the movies. We'd try and remember the words to all the songs in Disney's Pocahontas. We'd pick up sticks and pretend we were fighting dragons in the woods.
Eventually, we grew apart. Of course we did, that's just what happens. I hadn't thought about elementary school like this in years. But when Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom came out in 2012, I remembered all of it. I remembered how sweet and innocent it was. There's something about that age, when you're old enough to know what a boyfriend/girlfriend is but you're too young to know what that actually means. I look back on those days, fondly. They were magical and whimsical, just like Anderson's film. Sometimes, I miss those days. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy I know everything I do. I'm glad I understand the things that I do. But some days, I just want to play pretend with someone. I want to act out my favorite scenes from movies. I want to pick up a stick and slay a dragon.