so,one of my earliest memories is of my friend lala. we moved when i was about to start first grade. i climbed my little self onto the bus and walked to the back (that’s right, i was cool even at 5 years old). there was a girl sitting by herself. she was cute as a button. brown hair and twinkling blue eyes. i stood before her and said,”hi, my name is E. wanna be my friend?” well, what choice did she have? i was sitting beside her before she even answered. our friendship was born on that day. we were both intense little girls. she was more thoughtful, i, a bigger goof. i loved her! we were inseparable. we rode our bikes all over god’s green earth (or the 2 mile radius that was our hood). she never made fun of the fact that my bike was my mom’s and i couldn’t sit on the seat and peddle at the same time. we swam all summer long together and slept at one or the other’s house almost every night. we battled bullies together. we split a paper route. we chased down her older brother when he ran off (he is autistic). we played with the boys in the neighborhood and kept up easily. at ten we became blood sisters. we fought just like biological sisters. she still remembers me socking her…i do not. she still makes fun of my short shorts and my socks pulled up to jesus! i envied her docksiders. we were two halves of the same whole.
she went to a different high school and as happens we fell out of touch. i ran into her some 20 plus years later and it was like no time had passed. that’s the wonder of this kind of friendship. when she looked at me she saw me as her 8 year old best friend and i saw the little girl with the twinkle in her eye. we were both parents by this point. we got into the delightful habit of meeting for dinner every couple of weeks. i cherish these meals together. she knows me like no other person in this world could. we grew into people together. we learned to fly independent of the watchful eye of our parents together. as grown ups we have held each other through health scares and kid questions and love questions. she has become an advocate for those on the spectrum of autism. i am so proud of the woman she has become.
my life is fuller because she is in it. i can’t remember the time before i knew her. if the fullness of our lives is determined by the wealth of our relationships, and i believe that it is, i am rich beyond my wildest dreams.