Tawni and I became best friends the summer after 3rd grade. I am not sure how exactly it happened, I guess that is one of the blessings of the innocence of a child. It was my very first summer camp, Tawni’s second. There we sat on a picnic table in the middle of a VERY HOT field, waiting for our cabin number. Tawni and I naturally sat next to each other, considering we were the only two in the 3rd grade. Most of the other girls were one year older, so we clung to each other being the youngest. It was at the moment that we became best friends; like I said, the innocence of a child. There was no comparing lifestyles, interest, deciding if we were compatible together, if we would get along. We were just friends. Period. That summer camp we were inseparable. I do not remember much about Camp Emmanuel; the extreme heat that prevented us from doing anything but swimming, the crafts inside the large mess hall, the “waterslide” made out of a black tarp and a water hose. Nevertheless, I remember that Tawni and I did it all together.
Our friendship lasted like that through the 8th grade. Talking on the phone, giggling about boys, summer camps, youth groups, sleepovers, bike rides (that is another story in itself!) we did it all together. We had our plan; we would be best friends forever, go to college together, be roommates, and become elementary school teachers at the same school. We would always be there for each other.
In the middle 8th grade, my family announced that we would be moving to Sacramento. Tawni and I held each other and cried. We figured this was it; our dreams were suddenly crushed. We promised to write letters, call long distance when we could, and stay best friends. We did not really; one or two letters, here and there. Christmas cards, a couple times we saw each other at youth camp when we happen to be at the same camp at the same time, but we were not as close. Neither of us are good at long distance. I got to my new church and there was no Tawni there for me. Another girl decided to be my best friend, and made me her friend, we were close, but she was no replacement.
My senior year my youth pastor announced that we were not going to the same camp this year. We would be going to do something different. This would have been my sixth year going; I never missed a year. My friends and I BEGGED to get to go. “It’s our final year! We are seniors! We HAVE to go!” Finally, he gave in, and we got to go to camp one last year. Actually, everyone backed out except me. I was the only Senior that went. All my friends and my boyfriend stayed home. It did not matter because when I got there, I saw Tawni. When we were all placed in random groups, Tawni and I were in the same group. We caught up on everything that week! It was as if we had not been apart for those 4 ½ years. We discussed our plans now that we were graduates. Looks like our 3rd grade planning paid off, we were going to the same college, and in fact, our dorm rooms were right across the hall from each other.
After 4 years of college together, many adventures, gossiping, more giggling about boys, some studying, and too many late nights to count, we made it to graduation. Tawni went on to become an elementary school teacher, just like planned. I did not. We still see each other at least once a week. We talk on the phone, giggle about our husbands, go shopping, talk for hours, and remain the Best of Friends. Now that we both have the most adorable little boys, 5 weeks apart, we have even more reason to get together, not that we needed a reason to hang out! I hope that our boys can find the friendship in each other that their mommies have found in each other.
Wednesday night was Tawni's birthday. We all went out to celebrate together. I thought this was the perfect excuse to start my Friendship Fridays up again.
Tawni, Happy Birthday. I cannot believe that after 17 years, we are still as close. I thank God for you and the friendship that we have together. We have been through so much together. From Summer camp, to that terrible bike ride. Being a freshman in college, our weddings, out babies and so many experiences I would not trade for anything. Thank you for being my friend through it all. Love you so much, you are more than my Best Friend, you are like a sister to me. I look forward to the next 17 years as Best Friends!