Friends are family we choose consciously.
There was a time, years ago, when I couldn't imagine going through a single day without talking to my best friend. Both of us were inseparable and there's no secret that we kept from each other. We pushed each other through all the big moments — falling in love, getting married, and starting our own families. Eventually, we grew older and we grew busier. But we never grew apart.
It doesn't matter if she's 5 minutes away from me or 500 miles away from me, because whenever we meet, we pick up from where we left off. But as life became chaotic while we both juggled between being a mom and being a wife, our old 'catch-up' sessions became fewer and fewer.
We stopped calling each other as regularly as we used to, but we both know it's okay. I know that the silly emoji she sends me is her way of checking up on me. When I'm stuck knee-deep in household chores, the hilarious meme she sends me will help me laugh away my morning blues.
There were times when we would talk for hours at a stretch. But it's okay that those conversations have been reduced to a few texts here and there. I don't complain and neither does she. We both know that our busy schedules can get ahead of us and we're struggling to catch up. But if there's ever a slight change in my tone or the words I use, she will instantly know that something is wrong. And that's when she will take the time out to drive over and hear me rant.
But there are times when I go quiet. And she does, too. Those hectic days where I make sure my teenager gets to soccer practice on time, my middle schooler's science project is on point, and there's still dinner on the table, it feels impossible to drop a simple "hello" by text. But she knows. She understands me and she may miss me, but she won't let it turn into spite. She knows that when it's her turn to be super busy, I won't let the quietness come in between us either. Chaotic days and stressful times at home won't get in the way of our love for each other.
Over the years, I have lost a number of friends who just couldn't understand how difficult motherhood can be. They would take it personally when I had to decline invitations and fail to understand that I was getting caught up with the demands of marriage and parenting. I know that I haven't been the perfect friend but I would have hoped that they would understand the quietness wasn't personal.
But losing a few friends along the way also showed me how important that one non-judgemental best friend is in my life. We stuck by each other no matter what and never put unreasonable expectations on each other. We will change, our responsibilities will change, but what we have for each other will always stay the same. When I fail to be the perfect friend who always texts back and doesn't call even when she promises to, she will never hold a grudge against me.
Dear best friend, thanks for always being there and still being there when I wasn't. Even when I was quiet, I still remembered you often. And I cherish every bit of our short 2-minute conversations over text and the selfies you send, making silly faces while your kids are asleep next to you. Thanks for being there even when you weren't.
Disclaimer: This article is based on insights from different sources. The views expressed here are those of the writer.