Today is National Best Friends Day- which I didn’t know this was a thing. Did you know that it was a thing? Regardless, I’m a huge believer in the power of friendship and I will use any excuse to celebrate the lovely, amazing, accomplished women in my life. The lovely, amazing, accomplished women in your life because my friendship with these women are a part of who you are and are, I hope, a role model for you to base your friendships on.
I have some memories from my earlier years, but really most of my concrete, linear memories start in 5th grade. I had moved to the school district I was in when I was in 3rd grade and immediately met Marlana. From there, my friend group grew and shrank throughout elementary school, then middle and high school. But the core group- the main 10- pretty much stayed the same.
These are the women I literally grew up with – the ones that ohhh’d over my first bra, the ones who knew about all my crushes and didn’t laugh (too hard) at my bad perms. The friends I learned to swim next to when my front teeth were still to big for my mouth (aham*Scorch*). The friends what were with me when I had my first drink- and held my hair after. The friends that still text me when they go to the museum I got my first period at just to tell me they are in the place I “became a women.” They are the friends that drive for hours to celebrate your big milestones. The friends that helped me become the person I am today by giving me the support, friendship, love, teasing and validation every child needs growing up.
There were fights- big and little ones- and ebbs and flows as we grew up, grew apart and then grew back together. But I could not have wished for a better group of friends to navigate the first part of my life with. I see you with your friends now and try to encourage you both towards the friends that I can think will end up making up your core group. The friends who will know you inside and out and love you still. The friends that you may not see for years but who you know will always be there. I wish passionately for friends like this for both of you.
During college and our years living in Washington, DC I made new friends- some of whom I’m still friends with now- but it wasn’t until I had you kids that I met my new tribe. These are the women who are helping raise you. The woman who have full permission to parent you as they see fit because they know you and love you and want nothing but good things for you. They are your friend’s mamas so you’ve never known anything but this big intertwined pile of love and friends.
These are the mamas that have celebrated your birthdays with you, seen you in almost every Halloween costume you’ve ever worn, watched you play all your sports and joined us for more playdates than I could count. They know all your secrets because the know all my secrets. They know when you’re being horrible because I’ve called at least one of them crying in frustration or fear or just sheer exhaustion.
They make me laugh so hard I cry and make me feel normal about the crazy that is my life. They are the friends who commiserate with me when marriage gets hard and celebrate all the best things that happen to us because the genuinely love us. They are married to the men that kidnapped your father on his birthday- proving that good people attract the like.
I cannot imagine navigating the landmine that is adulthood without these women, their significant others and their children. The friendship that I have with them is the one you see day in and day out and that I hope you emulate. I pray that you see how we treat each other with respect and kindness – not cattiness and bickering. I hope you see how friends should build you up, not break you down.
So, my kiddos, squeeze your current bestie because they may hold the title longer than you can imagine. Or they may not- and that’s OK too. You’re going to change and so are your friends. Find those that respect who you are, who you’re becoming and where you’re going. Find friends that make you a better person by sharing your interests and by challenging you to try new things. Don’t dismiss anyone based on their packaging- you’ll miss out.
Love you both,