I spent the day at the birthday party of an 8 year old and some of her friends. I have never heard so much racket in my life...surely I was never this kind of a little girl...all screechy and laugh-y....lol
The fun part was watching them all interact. Some were cousins, some were school friends. All of them at different times were hugging and whispering and holding hands. (When they weren't shrieking like banshees).
They all helped her with her presents, helped her bust the pinata, and helped her eat ice cream and cake. They all oohh'd and ahhh'd over all the birthday presents, especially the clothes and the new bike. They were there, supporting her all the way. Just the way friends should. Of course, it's easy to support your friend at a party. Or when things are all going well. Or when life is rosy. Not so easy when times are tough, or awful things are happening, or you just don't feel good yourself. That's when the true nature of friendship shows itself...when you know that you have to push past your own frailties and your own limitations and be there for someone else, regardless of how you're feeling. And when you can put your own stuff on the shelf for now, and be there 100%.
A friend of mine is facing one of the biggest challenges of her life. My job is to stand there and keep my mouth shut and let her say and do the things she needs to do right now. It isn't easy. But I know she'd do the same for me, and I know that when she is ready for advice or help, she'll let me know. Because that's how we operate. We have learned the dance of trust and love that enables us to communicate on a higher level than many. I know, as does she, that our friendship is a lifeline for us both and that we can be especially grateful to have that. It has stood the test of time, good weather and bad. Hurt feelings and joys. In sickness and in health. I know her like no one else does and she knows me as well...knows things that even my husband doesn't know. This substantial knowledge connects us in a way that nothing else can. It is an incredible blessing.
Watching these little girls today, I was reminded of my 2 best friends in grade school, Joan and Randi. We were the Three Musketeers. Inseparable. All for one and one for all. I wonder where they are and what they're doing now....sometimes the friendships we think will last forever don't. People move, people die...people just outgrow each other. There are a million paths we can take, and if we're lucky, we take that path with at least one good friend in tow.