Yesterday, as we were driving, my youngest daughter, Bear, broke into my garden writing reverie by suddenly saying,
“Annie and Joey are my best friends in the whole world.”
I smiled at her reflection in the rear view mirror. “Yes,” I said, “You will all probably be friends for your whole life.”
This wasn’t any pie in the sky notion, or something a mother tells her child to give them dreams on which to fly. Annie and Joey’s mother has been my best friend for fourteen years, and our younger children have been friends almost since the day they were born Beneath our feet, they played on the same blankets, toddled on short stubby legs, and later climbed trees together.
Aimee and I were both SAHM when we met. I’d recently quit being a legal assistant to parent my children full time. Diva was three, and ASW was eighteen months. Bear was merely a twinkle in her daddy’s eye when I met Aimee, after a mutual friend, Katie, suggested we’d like each other. She was right. After a mother’s group meetup at Chelino’s, a local Mexican restaurant, we stood outside, leaned against our cars and talked for hours into the warm summer night. Not long after, I realized she was the best friend I would ever know. Together, running households on single salaries, we met weekly, and over egg salad sandwiches and Lay’s potato chips, we grew in faith and friendship.
I held both of her youngest children in my arms the day they were born. In the summer, they come over here to play, or Bear goes over there. It’s a revolving door of summertime happiness.
Anne is twelve, and Joe is 10. Bear falls in between. As Bear says, “Annie is the sister I don’t fight with.”
Indeed. That got me thinking about sisters of the heart, those we love for much of our lives. Do I have any lifelong friendships? I have Donna from when I was ten and in the fifth grade. A life changing year fifth grade when I learned about the birds and bees. Donna and I sat on the swings and pondered these essential facts of life and decided it was bogus until we confirmed it with our parents. Her grandmother taught me how to crochet, and I’ll never forget those hours we spent making washcloths. or walking up to the corner store to buy Sweet Tarts and Double Bubble. Although she now lives in Kentucky, we remain close, with facebook making our friendship stretches more fluidly across the miles.
In college while working my way through journalism school, I made two friends who still mean so much to me, Debbie and Curtiss Ann. Until Curtiss Ann moved to Mobile, AL, the three of us got together on our birthdays and Christmas. Now, we are only two, and we miss her. Thank goodness for email, blogs and websites, facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Plurk. These varied forms of social media aren’t just for business, they are also a way of keeping close.
So, when I tell Bear she will be friends with her two best friends for life I mean it. With loved ones down the street, or only a click or two away, there is no good reason not to “talk” to our friends, cry over their sorrows, and rejoice with their joys.
Speaking of joys, Aimee’s oldest son graduated from high school and entered the Air Force Academy. With his graduation, Aimee and I also reached another milestone together, and it’s good to have the hand of friend as we march firmly into middle age.
What friendships have you nurtured? How do you keep in touch with those who know your past and will walk with you into the future? My Aimee, whose name is the epitome of love and friendship, had a birthday while I was in Buffalo, so this post is one of my presents to her.
After all, we can’t forget to tell our friends how much we love them. You never know what life will bring.