I was about my daughter's age when I found my best friend. We met in 7th grade chorus and hit it off immediately. Pretty soon, we were inseparable. Get-togethers after school and sleepovers on the weekends were common. In school, we tried to take the same classes, and always met up in between periods and at lunch. We walked around school singing a cappella to whoever would listen: Our favorite audience...the "lunch ladies." (They loved us-especially around the holidays when we would don Santa hats and sing Christmas songs.) I was a majorette in the marching band-Trish joined the color guard so we could spend more time together after school and on school trips. During our senior year, we were voted "Always Together" by the senior class- after a very strenuous campaign.
As adults, Trish and I have remained best friends. We survived my going away to college and her move to another state. I graduated, and she moved back. We picked right up where we left off.
We were bridesmaids at each other's weddings; and we were there for each other when our children were born. A highlight for us was learning we were pregnant at the same time and due about six weeks apart. Turns out, Trish's daughter was born late and my daughter was born early. They ended up with birthdays one week apart. Just like Trish and me.
Fast forward 13 ½ years: Our daughters just finished the 7th grade. And they, too, are best friends. Although they are separated by a few towns and different schools, they are "Besties" nonetheless. When they were younger, they enjoyed play dates and birthdays. Today they have regular get-togethers and sleepovers. And for two girls who have had such separate lives, they are so much alike. They've always had similar likes and dislikes and they never tire of spending time together. Most importantly, they are good girls who make smart choices. It's been such a joy to watch them grow up together. A second generation of BFF's.
To this day, anytime Trish and I introduce one another, it's not just by name: It's "this is my best friend since 7th grade..." I think we both take great pride in our friendship and how it has endured so many years. And our daughters sense that pride and appreciation, and have been caught telling others how long their mothers have been best friends. The endurance of our friendship, though, is secondary to its substance.
Although we lived in separate counties for the majority our adulthood, we have always relied on each other for advice on relationships, motherhood, and life. Trish is that best girlfriend with whom I could always share my deepest secrets. She is that person that I can trust with my children, and my life. She is a friend who knows me inside and out. She would do anything for me and she knows that I would do anything for her. The value in having an enduring, loving, loyal relationship such as ours is, indeed, priceless.
Trish and I have not stopped having sleepovers. Periodically, we will get together for, what we call, our "girls' night." No longer the clubbing-kind that we enjoyed in our earlier years, it's a "night in," with our girls, playing board games, watching movies, or just hanging out. It is a tradition that we love. It's a tradition that our daughters love...and appreciate. I suspect the tradition will continue for a long time to come.
I imagine our girls remaining best friends into adulthood-attending each other's weddings; raising their kids together; sharing secrets and advice. I also imagine that they too will share a quality, enduring friendship with which they will take tremendous pride. I wonder if, when they introduce each other in the future, they preface with, "This is my best friend since...well, since I was born."