Today I am feeling happy and thankful. This is a story about my best friends.
I frequently read articles on the internet about female friendships and even the ones that are supposed to be positive I find a bit depressing. There is always a great deal of talk about how fraught those relationships can be, how competitive and jealous. I remember that, from middle and high school, but I was fortunate enough to form two solid friendships in high School that transcended that pettiness, and over time they have only gotten better. I had other friendships in high school that brought me joy, but these are the two that have lasted.
These are my SFAMs – Sisters from Another Mister, and their kids. I took this last Christmas when we were all home at the same time, for the first time in what feels like years. I’ve been trying to write this post since then, but I often find myself at a loss for words when I try to talk about these women.
We knew each other in high school but never really hung out until the summer before our senior year, when we worked at the most beautiful place in the world, Harpers Ferry. We had an eventful senior year together and then we all went off to college in different places all over the country. For the next couple of years we weren’t in great touch, but then when I got married I asked them to be the only non-family to stand up for me. The one holding my nephew got married 6 weeks after I did. The following summer my niece’s mom married her husband out in California. The three of us all met in Dallas and drove across the country to her wedding – it was a great trip but as a tip from me, don’t drive from Dallas to Albuquerque in one day in the summer. It is not a short journey.
I don’t pretend to be an expert on relationships, but here are the things I most value in my friendships with my SFAMs:
- Their humor – they are both really, really funny and after the craziness of high school and all these years of being friends we have lots of shared jokes and experiences.
- Years of support – families, other friends, jobs and careers, they have proved over and over again that they are rooting for me and always have an ear open.
- Mutual respect of our differences – we are by no means three different versions of the same person. I love the ways they are different from me, and the ways they are different from each other.
Whenever I’m with them I remember that this is one of the first things I must teach my children, when I eventually have some. Friends are family you choose. People who are competitive with you or make you feel worse about yourself don’t deserve your love. When my girls get or achieve something it doesn’t diminish me or my life, it adds to it. Every time I talk to them I am grateful.