There are some things that just cannot be argued, like the beauty of a sunset, the love for your child and the importance of a best friend, even when you are all grown up. There some things in life that are absolute and though we may think that we become self-sufficient as adults because we are taking care of children, at our core, we still need those besties we had when we were children; that one person that you could be completely yourself with, tell all your secrets too and she’d love you and support you still, no matter what, even if you are dead wrong and full on crazy. When we grow up and get married, our husbands fill that role to an extent but there is just something about a girlfriend that cannot be replaced.
Let me tell you something about my best friend, Niki. Wow! That sounds childish to call a grown woman my BFF. But what else do you call the woman you’ve grown from naïve adolescence to adult women of the world? The lady who knows you almost as well as you know yourself and sometimes even better because she can see what you aren’t willing to? Really, she is my sister, in every sense of the word except for the whole “sharing the parents” part.
Last Monday, the Big Guy had business in Chicago, so the girls and I tagged along for the ride and got a bonus trip to see Niki and her girls. We’ve known one another since freshman year at Purdue; we shared a dorm, Duhme hall. No need to make a joke, you hear them all when you are known around campus as the Duhme (Do-Me) Darlings. From the moment we met, it’s felt easy like old friends. Now, we actually are old friends, the oldest of friends. We’ve known each other for over half of our lives. Crazy right?
The Big Guy dropped the girls and I off at Niki’s house and we stayed with her and her two daughters, who are right around the same ages of my girls, for 28 glorious hours. It could have been a month; it doesn’t really matter because it is never long enough.
Niki and I have shared all the big moments in our life, our first year of college, our wedding days, our children’s births and the letting go as our children grow up. She is the only person in the world who I can tell everything to without having to think about it before I say it. There is no judgment ever. It’s a completely unconditional relationship that always feels organic and never awkward. Something that, as an adult, I know is a rarity.
There have been instances where we have not seen or spoken in months and then we pick up the phone and it’s like we are right back in our dorm rooms, 18 and pouring our hearts out like no time has passed at all. Only now, instead of drinking cheap booze at some frat house surrounded by the buzz of partying people we are sitting in the suburbs while our daughters fall fast asleep whispering to one another in the next room, as we drink homemade sangria.
Our lives have changed a lot in these past 20 years but one thing has always remained the same, she is my sister. The highlight of our trip, aside from the late night sangria drinking and conversations that could only be stopped by exhaustion, was seeing our daughters walking hand in hand along the streets of Chicago headed towards American Girl with the Chicago skyline as the backdrop. It was like seeing the future and the past meet all in one place and my heart was very happy and I know, so was hers. The worst part of the visit was leaving but the best part by far was seeing our little girls becoming as close as sisters, just like Niki and I have always been.
The funniest part of the day was when at point when the kids were tired from all the walking and the excitement of the American Girl Place had worn off, I tried to settle the children. I said “Stop” and in my mind, as it always does, I was singing “collaborate and listen” but this time, Niki was there and singing it out loud and our daughters thought we were both crazy and we both knew that it was the sanest thing to do when you hear the first line of Ice Ice baby.
When’s the last time you talked to you best girlfriend? What are you waiting for? Call her. Text her. Go see her. Never let those friendships end because they are few and far between.