It was my intention to write a “letter” to my friends in this blog on their birthdays. First, I missed
Shannon’s on December 19th because I was busy with 4000 things. I did mention traveling to see her earlier in the month, so I think I’m due partial credit. Today I had something half-written in my head for my friend Bette in celebration of her birthday. First, she’s never said that she reads the blog so I’m not even sure that she’d see anything I say. Second, after hearing about the wonderfulness her husband came up with in celebration of her big day, I don’t have it in my heart to even write something. I just can’t go there right now. Instead of beating around the bush, the truth of what I’m feeling right now might come pouring out.
Do you have a BFFL? Do you know what a BFFL is? I’m not sure if this is a “real” term somewhere, or something that Sugar and three of her friends came up with at a sleepover here over the summer. BFFL stands for Best Friend For Life. I think there’s even a chant or secret handshake that goes along with being a BFFL. I know for certain that there is a BFFL Club that they talk about. It’s interesting for me to see friendships develop in my little girl’s lives and I wonder where those friendships will end up in the coming years.
Spice is just learning to be a friend. She’s in preschool and has several classmates that have been in the same daycare facility with her since she was an infant. Most of them are boys, but Payton and Spice have been together for years. They’ve played side by side as toddlers and now are interacting as “friends” do. I think they occasionally fight and the conversations they have crack me up. They’ve even started coordinating outfits and both wore the same boots to school earlier this week. Payton’s mother has recently become a Facebook friend, so we get to compare notes about what the girls are up to. Payton had a birthday party today and I was thrilled to attend and watch them interact with each other. To say that they adore one another is an understatement. They took occasional breaks to play with other kids, but they always seemed to know where the other was, and found their way back. Payton even went so far as to sit separately to blow out her birthday candles but then jumped up and said something like, “I’m coming back for ya!” She climbed back onto the seat next to Spice and they enjoyed their birthday cake together. They didn’t talk much while they ate, but the way they leaned into each other a bit, like an old married couple, spoke volumes about how they feel about one another. They will not attend school together as Payton lives in another town, but I would certainly like to try to keep Payton in Spice’s life for as long as they want to be with each other.
Sugar went to the same daycare for preschool and kindergarten, then moved on to public school for first grade. Sadly, she didn’t maintain friendships with any of her little buds from the private school. I think part of it had to do with her wearing an eye patch at the end of her time in kindergarten and feeling like the other kids were picking on her. Once she hit elementary school, she was the tiniest fish in a big pond and no one noticed or cared about her patch. She was thrilled to be a first grader and made many friends. She is still friendly with her first grade friends, but she didn’t bond with anyone until second grade. She now has a BFFL Club with a very small group of girls in her grade. I have met these girls and love them all. I would have chosen them for my own friends. They too coordinate outfits and play together, but now there’s an added dimension of DRAMA. One in particular seems to get mad at Sugar on a regular basis and it devastates Sugar every time. Sugar never knows what it is that she’s done wrong, but she comes home and cries and cries. She’s never angry at her friend, she’s simply mystified. It breaks my heart every time it happens. Sugar is always good and kind to her friends, she’s the little girl that will go without lunch if her friend forgets hers at home. She’s generous to a fault (with everyone except her sister!) and it seems that these battles occur when her friend decides to bring in a new friend, or leave Sugar behind altogether. Despite what men think, threesomes never work out. :o) Sugar and these girls will go off to middle school together next year and I hope they always have each other.
EN and I have no intention of leaving our small town, mostly because it’s important to us that our girls have roots. I am an Air Force brat, so we moved all the time. EN had a mother that liked to buy new houses, so he moved all the time. When we became parents, it was one of our dreams that we would live in the same place so our girls could grow up with a steady group of friends. Who knows what life will hand us, that may change overnight, but we’ve been here a long time and so far so good!
I compare the friendships of my daughters to the friendships that I have. I don’t have anyone that I really “grew up with.” I did meet
Shannon as a ten-year-old, but I moved so far away at 15 that we were pen pals more than anything else. For most of our friendship, we’ve missed out on the day-to-day taking care of each other. Bette became my friend when I moved here at 15. We’ve taken two hiatuses from our friendship (divorce is too harsh a word today), but she’s someone that I enjoy having in my life.
The rest of my friends, well, I consider them “newbies.” They’ve all been in my life ten years or less (yes, I’m old). Each one of them means the world to me. Their successes and sorrows impact my life near as much as their own. They are each amazing women and they bring things to my life that I would miss if they left tomorrow. I’ve met these ladies through EN, my children, my work, schooling or people that we have in common. I keep in touch with them in a variety of ways… this blog, texting, email, Facebook, lunches, dates with our children. I don’t have a ton of friends, I can count them on both hands really, but I love them and look forward to seeing where our lives lead us.
Take a minute to think about your network of BFFL’s. When was the last time you thanked them for being in your life? When was the last time you thought about the magic of their friendship?