This may not seem like a big deal to a lot of people, but it's huge to me. A is my oldest friend. We've known each other longer than we've known our own siblings. :-) She's 9 months older than me. We grew up living across the street from each other and we were practically attached at the hip. Our mothers went through a total of 6 pregnancies together and I think they single handedly kept each other sane sometimes.
Some of my best and not-so-best childhood memories include A, like the time I got a spanking because I had been told not to run out to meet the mailman at the mail box to get the mail. Well, A didn't have the same restriction. And in my brilliant 6-8 year old mind, I figured if I walked inline with the tire on the mailman's vehicle, my dad, looking out the picture window across the street wouldn't be able to see me. Well, unfortunately, my grasp on angles and points of view wasn't very advanced. Of course he saw me, and of course he was mad that I disobeyed him and of course I had to come home and get my butt beat. Then there was the lace tights that A got to wear to the Father-Daughter dinner at church that I coveted so bad!
See! They are so uber cool! You know, I never did get a pair of those. I should get a pair now! I could totally pull it off... I'm sure of it!
Well, when we were about 9 or 10, A's family decided to move about an hour away. It was traumatic! We tried to keep in touch, but when you're 10 there is only so much you can do, and an hour away might as well be the other side of the world. Especially since this was before the days of email, text message, IM, and Facebook. (How DID we survive?!?)
Well, long story... longer... we lost touch until about a year and a half ago when we found each other on Facebook. Our lives have taken us in two completely different directions. She is as committed to the religion of our youth as ever, where as I walked away years ago. She's been married for 11ish years and has 4 kids, where I've been married, divorced, and married again and just now pregnant with my first at almost 31. She's a conservative republican and I'm a bleading heart liberal democrat. On paper, there is no way that we should be friends, but amazingly... it works for us. What's the secret? I'm not sure, but I think loads and loads of respect for the other person and her opinions and beliefs has a lot to do with it.
A is one of the best mother's I've ever know. She treats her children with dignity and respect. She delights in their accomplishments and helps them through their dissapointments. She fosters their curiosity and passions, even if that involves having a pet snake (ICK!!!), or listening to her boys pretend their carrots are some sort of exotic bug, or having to tell her boys that no matter what Bear Gylis said about worms being good protein, they cannot eat the ones she found them nuking in her microwave! She encourages her daughter's dance ambitions, while also encouraging her love of playing in the woods with her brothers. She does everything she can to pour into her children emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.
Who would have thought that 20 years later, my childhood BFF would be here to help me navigate this thing called pregnancy! I'm so lucky to have such an experienced and caring friend to share this with. A, thanks for being here for me. Thanks for sharing in my joy. You have no idea how much it means to me!