I had the BEST friend when I was a little girl. I mean it, we were absolutely perfect for each other. How can you go wrong when your best friend shares the same first name AND middle name as you? We were twins, we were in seperable.
I have all of these memories of how we spent our time together as little girls. It’s amazing what one can remember from 20+ years ago. We would pretend – a lot. We had favorite movies we watched over and over, “Thumbelina“, “Fern Gully“, “Anastasia“, “The Secret Garden“, “A Little Princess“, and then we’d go outside and reenact those movies. Time and time again we would pretend to have our own secret garden, and we’d quote the movie in our own wonderful world. We’d hid amongst the pine trees, pretending we had a secret garden no one else could find but us.
We would pretend we were the little princess, once very rich and now living in a girl’s home as nothing more than a slave. We swapped roles often, each having a turn to be various characters from the movies.
I remember bits and pieces of things, like going shopping with her mother, or going to a science-themed store. These memories are just bits and pieces though, and I can’t even be sure it was a memory with her.
How can the mind do that? How can it remember SO much but so little from other times?
I’ll never forget losing that friend when I moved away. We tried to stay in touch, but this was before social media and we weren’t quite using the Internet as extensively as we do today. We lost touch. We went from being two-as-one, to being total strangers.
I do remember that her mom let her visit me! We went roller skating around my neighborhood, and I told her all about my new friends and the boys at school. Boys! We had gone from pretend play to pre-teen years in a blink.
Now I sit here and I can tell you that the power of social media has reconnected us, briefly. Thanks to my fine detective skills, I totally found her on Twitter and reached out. And she remembered me. But our lives are so different, and there have been so many years in between, could we even have a long-distance friendship at this point?
It’s incredible that I even found her. How many people in this would have the same name as her?
Ours is a friendship I will share with my daughter for sure. I want her to know that closeness with someone just like I did. Because of the distance and what I know now, I will do my best to give their friendship every chance I can to stay connected. It’s only right. It’s painful – heart breaking – to lose a friend in any manner.
A girl should always have a best friend. That first friend, though, is something truly special.
Here are a few different ways you can help your child’s friendships last:
Encourage communication! We have so many ways to communicate nowadays – email, text, social media, letters, phone calls – encourage your child to explore a variety of ways to stay in touch with friends.
Provide fun activities! Tea parties for girls, video game marathons for boys, bowling parties, movie nights, there are so many ways that you can organize fun events and activities for your child and their friends.
Communication between parents! It was all because my mom was semi-friends with my friends’ parents that they were so open to sleepovers and even full weekend sleepovers! Staying in touch and being friendly as adults can help foster friendships and provide opportunities for bonding and fun.
Preserve memories! Help them build scrapbooks, picture slideshows, even videos that they can cherish for years to come. Even if they do drift apart, they will have those memories and photos.