Friday, July 12, 2013

Now & Then, You're Right Here With Me

Today is my best friend's birthday. Of course, I forgot - but not because I really forgot, just because I've spent two decades of my life positive that her birthday is July 19th, not July 12th, & this year proved to be no exception. The card I bought her is still sitting on my kitchen table. Because some things never change.

Our friendship is one of those things. I mean, it's changed, for sure, but it hasn't really changed. Honestly, thinking about the 20ish years or so that we've been friends chokes me up a little bit; I can hardly recall a childhood memory that Christina isn't a part of. In fourth grade, her mom started babysitting me after school while my parents were at work. We didn't know one another - we'd always been in different elementary school classes - but we became fast friends.

Best friends.

The kind of friends who have too many inside jokes to keep straight, who get into innocent little-kid trouble together, & who spend every day together that they possibly can. We went swimming at the lake & rode our bikes to each other's house & used up a metric ton of sidewalk chalk & played tricks on her little brother (um, I love you, David) & had countless sleepovers & listened to a lot of TLC & Alanis Morrisette. Obviously.

There were rough spots, man, for sure. In middle school & into high school, I was sort of an asshole. I had crap self-esteem & really wanted to be "cool," which meant that I didn't always treat my real friends as well as I should've. Because being a teenage girl is tough, & some of us do better at it than others. We become close again during the last two years of high school, when we were in show choir together, & then Christina went off to a Mennonite college, while I went off to a state party school. As she toyed with a conservative life that bordered on evangelical, we found we didn't have much in common.

Or did we?

We've always come back to one another. We always have. We don't talk nearly as often as we should, as it seems is too frequently the case in adulthood. But we've always made our way back to our friendship, & I'm always the better for it. Christina is, hands down, the nicest person I know. She a talented musician, a teacher to children with autism, new owner of a masters degree. She's a loyal big sister & a loving wife & a million other things I can't even remember because she's just really great. OK? She's great. And for 20 years now, I've had the honor of calling her my best friend.

There is more to our story, of course. There are hard times & fun times, inside jokes & ridiculous memories, secrets & mishaps & million stories. There is a whole lifetime of love & friendship, the kind of love & friendship that shape your life & personality & self because that's what good friends do - they make you.

Happy birthday, my psychic sis. I love you so, so much.

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