Kelly and I met in 10th grade (25 years ago) when her family moved next door to mine in Blytheville, Arkansas. She only lived there for about a year and a half before her dad's work took the family to Kentucky. But looking back, that brief time together had a profound impact on my life. We spent so much time together that our classmates nicknamed us the Twin Towers since we were both tall and lanky and often walked the halls in unison between classes. We spent weekends at each other's house, learned to drive together, and had first boyfriends at the same time. So I was devastated when she moved. We stayed in close contact for several years, but time and distance played their part in muting the friendship. Thanks to Facebook, we kept in touch the last few years which led to our visit on the way through Texas.
We ate pizza and then sat in the front lawn chatting, laughing at the kids' antics, and drinking a glass of Barefoot Red Moscato (hint hint to those of you looking for future birthday and Christmas ideas for me.). It's hard to put into words, but do you know that feeling when you see your children playing happily with the children of someone you love? Is it joy that our friendship lives on in the next generation? Contentment in the longevity of relationships? A chance to reminisce of happy times? I'm not sure what it is, but I feel the same way when my kids play with my sister's kids. Having cousins is a magical relationship born of history between siblings over time. The same is true of good friendships. Watching my kids enjoy the company of Kelly's kids brought me a deep satisfaction. I know we aren't related in blood and that we don't see each other often, but it still feels like a sister/cousin kind of connection. In these types of relationships we can find, and offer, grace, forgiveness, support, encouragement, and so much more to generations beyond our own.
P.S. Did I mention how HUGE their house felt to us after living in our Airstream for 3 months?!!