Today is a girlfriend’s 40th birthday. These milestones always cause me pause and reflection… Meredith was our 2yr old son’s Montessori teacher. We were new to town, settling in, and it was such a relief to put him into her steady arms each day and know he was loved. Soon she became a night and weekend babysitter. We aren’t that far apart in age, but, at the time, she was still single and I was married with two kids, so we were socially at different stages in life. So, our bond developed around her love and care for our children, and she soon became part of the family. Our, MereMere.

Time went on. I became a mother to number three, Mere got married and had a little girl of her own. When she decided to leave teaching, she became our nanny and brought her baby with her. Our family bond grew as we all went through the ages and stages of life. My husband’s grandmother lived her last years with us, and Mere was there. She got a divorce, and we were there. Strained financial times, bad boyfriends, marital challenges, job changes, teenager rebellion, poop, puke, and dirty laundry. You name it, and we have been through it. Together.

If you were to see our day to day lives, or cruise our Facebook pages, you would say that we were friends, but you might not see how deep the river runs. We don’t spend each waking moment together. We’re not friends with all of one another’s friends. We sometimes go weeks without talking. But we’re always there for each other, and we both know it. If it’s a breakup, breakdown, or breakthrough, we know we can call or walk through one another’s door without pretense or explanation. We just flow. In and out, like water.

Not all friendships are, or can be, like this. There are people in our lives that are there for now. The ones that we connect to because of a time in our lives, and like a hot romance, we latch on hard, love them deeply, and then the time is over and they are gone. Sometimes they come back. Sometimes they don’t. Then there is this slow romance. The kind you didn’t know was happening, but when you look back, it was always there. And always will be. Like family.

“The most beautiful discovery true friends make is that they can grow separately without growing apart.” ~Elisabeth Foley

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