The birthday girl has a sister in the fourth grade in our school, so I've seen the girls' mom and dad "in passing" for the past 2 1/2 years. Not having kids in the same class until this year, we've never really chatted except for a few minutes while waiting for our daughters, or before and after piano recitals. Even though Natalia and her younger daughter are in the same class, we haven't overlapped that much at pick-up or drop-off this year, either.
I often see the girls' dad, and he just gives off this aura of being such a great father and all-around nice guy... Even when you don't really know him, he puts you completely at ease. The same is true for the girls' mom; she has a smile that just radiates sincerity. Even though we barely know each other, there aren't any pretenses, there isn't any awkwardness, and I feel as if we've been friends for a long time, but just haven't had the chance to really "chat" yet. I've had the sense all year that at some point we'd be really good friends, thinking how silly it was how we "wasted" all that time before realizing it.
In any case, because we've never really talked other than superficially, we've been "acquaintances" all this time... When I came to pick up Natalia this afternoon, however, she invited me to join the group, have some dessert and a cappuccino.
And then it happened. We went from "Вы" ("Vui"/formal "you") to "Ты" ("T'ee"/informal "you"). She initiated it, kind of laughing and shyly smiling at the same time, "Давайте на Ты!" ("Davayte na t'ee!"/"Let's use the informal subject pronoun!").
It may seem so silly, but I think it's really cool that there's an informal and formal way of saying "you" in Russian (and in other languages). You remember the day you go from one to the other with friends. I can clearly recall all the times I've had the same moment with other friends with whom I speak French, Spanish, Italian and Russian.
For those of you who don't know these languages, it's kind of like the day I graduated from 9th grade and the most special teacher I ever had told me I could call her "Pat" instead of "Mrs. Clark."
In Russian, it's a grammar moment. And it's just, well, nice.