Remember the days of grade school when you had 10 "best friends"? Everyone that wanted to share their lunch or loan you a Hello Kitty pencil was your "best" friend. Friendship was simpler as kids. There wasn't a whole lot of drama when the biggest choice you had to make in a day was playground or tetherball for recess. Life gets more complex as we get older and so do friendships. I am the type of person that would take 2 really good friends over 20 casual friendships. I like to surround myself with good people and keep them close. So far, I have been pretty successful.
Of course, Drew is my best friend. He is the one person on this earth that I share EVERYTHING with. I have already done a post about him though and I a lucky enough to have 3 other very special people lined up for this place instead.
Sometimes those simplisitic childhood friendships are able to become true adult friendships. I am lucky enough to be apart of it. I met two of my best friends when I was 5 years old. Erin, Kara, and I all did children's theatre one summer. We hit it off and spent a lot of the summer together. We were friends who hung out some weekends, but at 5 there isn't a lot of hangout time involved in friendships. In school, we were in a lot of the same classes and our bond got firmer. By highschool, we were inseparable. We have a bond that doesn't involve us speaking daily (like we did in highschool). Now we are able to not talk for months (though we try not to let that happen) and we can pick right up where we left off. I have some of the best memories of my life with those girls. There is a framed picture of the 3 of us in highschool in the living room of my house. Anytime I see it, I can't help but smile. Those two girls have my back 100%. We took our first theatrical bows together, conquered highschool together, survived our first breakups by leaning on eachother, went to our first (and 2nd and 3rd) Aerosmith concert together, and have more inside jokes than I can count. They stood beside me when I married Drew. I was the notary that made Erin's marriage to her wonderful hubby, Sean, official. I am honored to get to stand by Kara this December as she marries her wonderful guy, Matt. Both girls were here for Ian's baby shower and are fabulous Aunties. After 21 years of friendship, I can honestly say I think this friendship will last forever.
Erin, Me, Kara, and Kara Anne (Erin's little sister)
Chapin NJROTC Ball 2001
Once in a lifetime, if you are lucky, you find that friend that surpasses all the expectations of normal friendship. The person that is more than a friend, they are family. That sister that God didn't give you because the two of you would have tested your mother beyond belief if you had grown up together. I found this when I was in college. Justin introduced me to a girl that he had gone to school and church with for years. I was looking for a roommate and she was looking for a place to live. I didn't care if we became friends, we just fit the needs to have someone to split an apartment and rent. God had other plans. Beth and I hit it off right away. We ended up working at the same job within a few months and spent our days emailing back and forth complaining about coworkers and gossiping about boys. A few months later, I mentioned that I had a crush on Drew. We were all at the same party and she asked me to point out who I meant. Imagine my shock when she explained they were 1st cousins and had gone to school together too. She and Justin are a big part of the reason Drew and I took the time to get to know eachother.
Beth isn't a fairweather friend. Infact, some of the things that have made our friendship so strong are some of the hardest things we have been through in our lives. She stood by me through a betrayal by another friend and the fallout that followed. She supported me in picking up the pieces and years later, she supported me in giving that person a second chance. I was there for her when her world came unglued after she found out her longterm boyfriend had a lot of secrets and issues that led her to ending their almost 4 year relationship. I did the best I could to help her pick up the pieces. She bounced back stronger than ever. We have shared every adult milestone. We screened eachothers boyfriends, cried tears of joy over the news of our respective engagements, helped plan eachothers weddings, and stood there proudly as we each married our respective guys. Beth made our adoption journey bearable when I thought the parts were coming unglued. She was there for me day or night when I was worried. I was there the night her son was born and blessed enough to hold him before he was an hour old. She drove all the way to Charlotte with a 2 month old so that she could hold Ian the day he was born. Since then, our boys are just as inseparable as their mommies.
Things are always changing, but our friendship just adapts. It made it through 4 years of living together and adjusted to us not seeing eachother as much when she moved out and I changed jobs. It made it through the newlywed phases of our marriages (you know..the time when you don't pay attention to the world outside of you and your new hubby). It made it through the craziness of a pregnancy and adoption journey that took place at almost the same time. It made it through her babysitting Ian daily for us for a year. Now things are going to change again as Beth and her little family prepare to move to the country. We won't see eachother everymorning when I drop Ian off and the drive will be a bit longer for our monthly family dinners. Yet, I am not worried. Not for a single second. I know that Beth is going to be in our lives forever. We are sisters by choice. It's not something you find everyday and it is something you never give up. (Besides, we have two little boys that need to get into trouble together.)