Thursday, 22 September 2016

You're My Best Friend

Growing up I was presented with the media version of what friendship was supposed to look like, particularly "best friendship".  In the books I read, in the movies and television shows I watched it was always there.  Kevin Arnold had his Paul Pfeiffer, Blossom had Six, Anne had her Diana, Sherlock had Dr. Watson, Frodo had Sam, and heck, even Batman had Robin.

As a little girl I always idealized the concept of the best friend, the one person who I could go to no matter what.  The thing I always had a tough time reconciling, in my own life in particular, the role of BFF was often played by more than one person, and often the cast of characters would change, from day to day, and year to year.

In my tween years those "BEST FRIENDS" necklaces were huge.  You know the ones that are often a heart, divided in half and worn by two different people as "Be Fri" and "St Ends".  I sat by watching other girls in my class, at my school, or even strangers on the bus, wear their appreciation for their BFFs around their necks and I felt like I was missing something, missing someone.

I knew that I could take the bull by the horns and purchase one of these necklaces for someone, but who?  They didn't create the versions that divided into three or four puzzle pieces until a few years later, and at that time I considered myself way too grown up for such childish trinkets.

Me and My girl out on the town

It wasn't until years later when I recognized that the evolution of friendships, and even the loss of friends, over your life is completely normal.  Friends grow together, fall apart, sometimes if we're lucky they come back, other times they're better left in the past.  Friends serve different roles, and that's also okay.  I have been lucky enough to have a fun, loving, motley crew of people, many of which are in my family, over the years.  Some friends I am raising my children alongside, which is amazing, others I happily get updates from on Facebook, or think of fondly in my memories.

This weekend was my birthday and Chris took the kids out to purchase me gifts.  When I opened my gift from Molly I discovered a divided friendship necklace in the shape of the sun that connects with magnets with the words "You are my Sunshine" on it, and I came very close to crying.  I had never told anyone about my internal tween struggle surrounding friendship necklaces, until I told Molly how much I'd wanted a necklace like this as a child while I secured the clasps around both of our necks.

My little adventurer

As a logical adult I understand that many five-year old girls would find this a perfect gift, after-all, they get a necklace too, and I'm sure this was a contributing factor for the purchase.  But there's also something more meaningful.  Molly is not my best friend, I am not that type of mom, and I pride myself on that.  I am not Lorelai Gilmore and she is not Rory, I am me, and I hope that Molly and I will always be close, because she really is my sunshine. This year she picked me the perfect gift, from a Tween accessories store, at the mall.  12 year old me would be so jealous!

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