BFFs

Is it possible to be or have a best friend forever?  Friends came and friends departed.  They moved away. You moved away.  I got mad and called her a liar.  That was the end of our six year BFF.

From age six to twelve P. and I were BFFs.  Sometimes we played with a whole group of other neighborhood children but most of the time we just played with each other.  Barbies, Monopoly, house, tree climbing, biking, swimming at the public pool, and other childhood activities kept us occupied.  She attended Catholic school and I attended public school.  After school, weekends, and summertime we were inseparable. Yes, sometimes we aggravated each other and sometimes she would give me the silent treatment but only for an hour.  I probably deserved it.  We loved sleeping and eating at each other’s homes.  We would even help the other with their chores so we could be together and play.monopoly1

Then it happened.  Another girl in the neighborhood and P. learned together how to crochet.  I was jealous.  I said I didn’t want to crochet, but in reality I didn’t want the other girl to steal my BFF.   Something was said as I talked with them one day and I called them liars.  I was hurt.  Worse than hurt, I was stubborn.  I was more stubborn than P.  My pride would not allow me to apologize.  I am sure she was also hurt.  I was the accuser.  That was the end of our friendship.  I am sorry, P.

Should parents get involved in their child’s friendships?  I do not recall if my parents did, but they were of the generation that usually did not.   I do not hold them responsible.  They were and are wonderful parents.

Generally, I think parents should refrain from getting involved in the squabbles their children have with their friends.  Parents can inquire about absent friends.  Parents can give guidance about apologizing, forgiveness and restoring friendships.  These are lifelong skills that parents need to nurture.

Our first four children all grew up in the same house, but all of them experienced the pain of a dear friend moving away.  We tried to help them keep in touch and even included a few visits when we traveled anywhere near their new homes.  We moved 200 miles away when our fifth child was fifteen years old.  He had to say goodbye to his BFF.  They managed to stay close for a few years but eventually became less close.  Email, Facebook, and cell phones are wonderful tools for keeping connected.

I am thankful for the close friends I have had throughout my life.  I am especially thankful for the ones that I may not have talked to in many months, but when we see or call each other  the relationship is so natural and comfortable it is as though we just went for a bike ride yesterday.

I am the nine year old holding the stuffed animal and P. is to my left in the wooden rocking chair. Two of the other girls were also from our neighborhood and the others were classmates.

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