I remember meeting Erin when I was eight years old. My family had just moved to a small country town called Barnstead. Not many people had heard of it before, and often when telling people where it is, I ask if they know where Lake Winnipesauke is and then go from there. Barnstead is a tiny little town, with a total population of roughly 4,500 and I was one of them, for about three years of my life.
It took me five days to make a friend when we first moved there. I was never outgoing as a kid, and even now sometimes I get nervous around people. I can’t remember exactly who came up to me on the swings first, but whoever it was, I thank them for it changed my life. I joined a team to play a game of tag and that’s how I met Erin. We’ve been friends ever since.
When I was twelve, my family moved an hour north to a larger town in Maine. Erin and I still saw each other for a weekend on our birthdays, but that was about it. Twice a year. When we were about fourteen or fifteen, that dropped to once a year and then eventually, at seventeen, we lost contact for a while.
I still had her phone number, but due to hectic lives – senior year, prom, applying to college – we didn’t have time to keep touch. Three years passed and we had only talked maybe five times. This weekend, I drove the two hour long trip back to Barnstead to spend Saturday night with her family. Today, I attended Erin’s first baby shower. She’ll be having a little girl in May.
It really hit me today that we’re all grown up. We’re no longer those eight year olds playing tag in the school yard or having sleepovers every Saturday night. We’re adults and she’s about to be a mother and had been Engaged for almost three years now. I suddenly realized that this year will mark 12 years of our friendship and, even though we spent three years apart, our friendship is still strong. Distance will never come between best friends if their friendship is strong. It can’t keep us apart.