My first real friend was named Jacob. We were 3 years old, and although I did not know it at the time, I treated him like my husband. I called the shots, made him tell me I was pretty, and was never in the mood when he wanted to kiss me. This perfect friendship was brought to an abrupt end by our mothers, after I told Jacob no one would care if we walked 2 blocks to the local playground by ourselves. (Also predictive of the future, my 3 year-old response to both mothers and the police was an eye roll and a “I was HANDLING it.”)
It took several years (and another failed friendship with a boy named Adam, who was also abruptly pulled from my life after my mother overheard us saying “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours!”) before I found a girl friend. She was everything I wasn’t: motivated, popular, and she could dance. I loved that her family had a standing dinner of Domino’s pizza every Friday night. She taught me how to make Kraft Mac & Cheese. We sold lemonade in her driveway. And while I’m sure there are countless other memories that don’t revolve around food, this was the start of 30 years of friendship.
As life went on, I amassed a beautiful bounty of girlfriends. I tried to be picky, but there were still some bad eggs. In middle school one ‘friend’ stole my Trapper Keeper and wrote BOSSY all over it like graffiti. (Accurate, yes. I would use that thing with pride today.) In high school one girl posted a painting I had done on the art room wall with a sign that said “FORGERY.” (My high school trapper should have said NERD.) But these instances were rare, and over the last few decades I have cultivated relationships with the perfect circle of women.
Ladies, cherish your girlfriends.
They will laugh with you when you want to celebrate. They will cry with you when you don’t.
They will come to your rescue. They will be your cheerleaders when you need it most.
Take photos with them. Don’t leave these in your phone – develop them and hang them in your house as a constant reminder of love.
Take vacations together. Sit around a fire talking about men and babies and sex and careers. You will return home a better woman.
Send her a note. Not a text, but a cute or funny or dirty card with actual handwriting on it that lets her know you are thinking of her.
Respect her decisions. You don’t have to agree, you just need to listen. Respect is the foundation of any relationship.
Talk about them in glowing terms. Rave about their awesomeness to your dentist, your dry cleaner, your spouse.
Remember their birthdays, and make them feel special (and younger!).
Be generous. Offer your hand to hold. Take her kids for an hour so she can take a shower or watch The Bachelor.
Above all, do not keep them to yourself. Introduce them to each other. Wonder Women should unite.
© Calling All Cool Moms 2018