Sunday, February 7, 2010

Best Friends Forever

When I was five years old I had my first best friend. She was my age and lived a few doors down from me in my neighborhood. We were in the same kindergarten class and rode the bus to school together every day. I remember having my first ever sleep over at her house. I felt so far from home, though if I looked out the window at the right angle I probably could have seen my house. We moved away after only a few short years and it has been almost 30 years since I was five, but my friend and I have kept in touch over the years, exchanging Christmas cards and trying to keep up with each other's lives.
Once in a while history repeats itself. When my oldest daughter was four and a half years old she found her first best friend. They were in the same pre-school class and the two of them were like two peas in a pod. They enjoyed playing dress up and baby dolls together. It was so cute to see my daughter with her little buddy and as it turned out, her mom and I got along very well too. The girls were inseparable in school and we tried to get them together for play dates whenever possible. I enjoyed the play dates, sitting and talking to my new found friend, as much as my daughter did. And so, we were both devastated when we found out they were moving to Chicago in the middle of the school year. It just didn't seem fair and after they left, pre-school was not quite the same for my daughter. She spent the rest of the year playing blocks with the boys in the class, missing her very best friend.
Now, Chicago is very far away from Clearwater, FL and the girls were both so very young when they parted ways. Though we talked before they moved about keeping in touch and having the girls "write" to each other, it didn't seem likely they would stay close for very long. Thankfully, I, too, wanted to stay in contact and they had family right near us. Still, we were lucky to even have an opportunity to get the girls together for once-a-year play dates when they were in town visiting their family. The girls did exchange occasional letters, which consisted of little crayon drawings at first because neither little girl could read or write. So we did our best, and somehow we did keep the friendship intact.
After four years we received the most amazing news. Our wonderful friends were moving back to Florida! They were going to be living in Orlando, about and hour and a half away, but compared to Chicago it seemed like next door! My daughter was nearing her ninth birthday when they settled back in the Sunshine state, an awful lot of years had passed with only minimal contact. I wondered, would the girls really have much in common any more? I needn't have worried one bit. The girls, now both eleven years old, are still like two peas in a pod! They even enjoy playing dress up together; now they put on elaborate fashion shows, complete with commentary. They are as close as ever and it is still so cute to see them together. This past weekend they were lucky enough to spend the entire weekend together. They talked on the phone every night last week chatting, giggling, and planning their big weekend. The weekend turned out as good as they hoped. They spent the night together two nights in a row, went to Universal studios together, and made themselves matching dresses. The joy in my daughter's voice as she called me from Orlando to check in and tell me about all their fun was such a blessing to me. I am so grateful that my daughter has a life-long friend and that our families are able to share a wonderful friendship too. I thank God for the beautiful friends He has brought into our lives and pray that they know how much we care for them and what a blessing they truly are to us.

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