It's spring break, and tonight we had Beatrix's best friend Alma and her family over for dinner. Because otherwise the week apart might be too long for two girls who say "We're sisters, mama" and who erupt into crazy, hugging giggle fits when they see each other. I love that Alma (and Gwyneth) are Beatrix's best friends, and that spending time together is the most important thing in the world to to them.
Like Beatrix, I have two best friends, who have held that status in my life since high school. That isn't to say that I am always the best friend to either of them; or that I spend the kind of time I would like to with either of them (because, sadly, I don't), or that they are my only "best friends." I am ridiculously lucky that I actually have several ridiculously close variation-of-best-friends, people who may not even have known me for as long, or are not nearby, but who really know me, are close to me, understand me, cheer for me, look out for me. There are several of you who might be reading this right now that hold that status, and I love you dearly. (and there's my husband, who I am lucky to have as my best best friend, and he knows that).
But Jennifer and Elaine are my Best Friends. No matter what is going on in my life, no matter who else is important to me, no matter what kind of time I (don't) spend with them, no matter how much I have changed (or not changed) since we met, they are the two women in this world who have been my best friends since I was in my teens and always will be.
This weekend, one of those two people leaves for a new chapter in her life. And, as best friends do, I am over-the-moon happy for her. And, as best friends do, I cry a lot that she's leaving. And, as best friends do, I know she'll always be there. Those things make it easier and harder, and I hope to god I will be a better friend to her than I often can be/have been and support her in exactly the ways she needs.
I don't know what makes a best friend. I don't always even know how to successfully be one. But, as I watched Beatrix and Alma hug and hug and hug goodbye tonight, I'm awfully glad that best friends exist.