This is a conversation between my five year old daughter and her worldly six year old friend. It’s an excellent example of how to get a BFF quickly. They are at the park on the big swing thingy and I’m pushing them “So high! Higher HIGHER! Mama! HIGHHHER!!!”
Friend: “Do you want to be BFFs?”
Sussie: “Sure… What’s a BFF?”
Friend: “It means Best Friends Forever.”
Sussie (enthusiastically): “Okay- cool!”
So sweet and innocent and lovely. At this moment they actually are Best Friends Forever and probably will be until someone goes a bit Emo. And then they’ll probably get over that and be Best Friends Forever again.
Is it really this easy? I think it was when I was that age. It’s all a bit different now though. I certainly don’t walk up to the other mums or dads whom I think are cool and I’m sort of friends with at school drop off and say “Howzit! Wanna be BFFs? F’Shizzle?” Not even in enunciated English would I actually say that.
And it’s not like I’m in the market for new friends: on the contrary. (See how I’m into reverse psychology? It’s not working for me at all. Not one bit.) But I was looking forward to having a new group of parents with which to share the slings and arrows of our children’s outrageous fortunes; a posse of people I could call on to car pool and compare notes about whether ‘homework’ could really be called ‘onthewaytoschoolinthecarwork’. So yeah, people I could call friends and call up for a coffee or a wine or an enormous slab of chocolate.
It’s not that I haven’t tried. I’ve gone to coffee mornings and parent help days at school but I just can’t seem to solidify many lasting friendships among these parents. Which led me at one stage to consider whether it’s me and my foul mouth, but to quote Facebook “Bitch, please… I’m Fabulous!” (Alright, it’s probably my gutter mouth a bit).
Probs not the way to introduce yourself to the other parents at school pick up.
We’re almost half way through the year and my actual new school ‘friend’ tally is around one and a half. I guess two if you count the teacher but she’s nice to five year olds on a daily basis so she’s a bit touched and would probably befriend a lame tiger if you ask me. Anyway, the friendship circle is slowly widening but it is hard, frightening work. Especially since everyone has a ball and chain attached to their social life called Children.
As I stare down the barrel of four glorious nights in New Zealand with some of my oldest girlfriends I’m even more grateful for those beautiful people who simply accept the incarnation of me no matter how I turn up at their front door. Who back in the 1990s when I had perpetual bad hair and no idea of the person I would become, just thought “She’s a bit funny, I’ll see if she’ll be my BFF.”
Our transportation in New Zealand.
Clearly I was a lot funnier in the 1990s.
So I look at my daughter and I smile with a full heart because life has not taught her to be cautious or suspicious yet. The world is still black and white: no greys. And happiness is as simple as being on a swing with your best friend, making up words and swearing loving allegiances as your Mama gives you a push up into the sky. So so high.