This term evokes eye rolls and summons mental videos of squealing teen girls, but today I get it. I have a BFF, and I realized this while listening to my daughter play with the little girl from up the street.
Our little neighbour brought her doll and some accessories. They’ve set up a house in my daughter’s upper bunk. Those two call on each other to play even if they have only a small window of free time before dinner or some organized sport or class. They had a difference of opinion at some point today that sent the little girl back up the street, but that lasted all of about 20 minutes before they were back giggling and ready for more.
My BFF lived on my street too, so I was allowed to walk to her house all by myself. I wonder sometimes if it was convenience that brought us together, but there were lots of other kids around us who never quite managed to embed themselves in my heart. By the time she moved away at the end of Grade 7, we had spent nine years together, and her move was devastating for us both. However, it seems that nothing can separate us, even to this day.
Today my daughter worried that her friend had left to find someone else to play, and my memory was flooded with every “other” friend my best friend played with: Jodi, Laura, Amy, Kristen, Megan, the list goes on.
I was 11 when she moved away, and our parents generously shuttled us back and forth for many years until we could both drive the half hour trip ourselves, and drive we did. I even dated one of her friends in high school.
When we were young she was my go to. Every free moment was offered first to her.
When we were teens she was my touchstone. I became that friend who intruded on other’s time with her (Kristen, Allison, Dayna, Janelle, Jennifer, …) and I relished my role, my standing right to appear uninvited.
When we went to university, we drifted, nearly apart, but not quite.
She knew me better than anyone, and sometimes I think she still does, and when she sensed I was letting go, she called me on it. Not very many people would bother, but she demanded: Are you in or are you out? In that moment, I was in. I was in because she knew without anymore indication than a passive aggressive delay in setting a date to get together that I was giving up on decades of devotion. She knew.
We met in Kindergarten. The first day she saw me she said to her mother, “She looks mean.” Little did she know…
As I write this, I am staring down the ripe old age of 38. For no fewer than 32 years, my BFF has known me and loved me unconditionally.
I know exactly what BFF means.
Live within limits without limiting life
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