The Code Between Childhood Friends


Childhood Friends

1. We will email, text, and use Facebook when we have to, but these methods of communication will never compare to hearing each other’s voices and having a conversation face-to-face.

2. Even if those face-to-face conversations happen once every five years or less, they will be so fulfilling and genuine that it will seem as if no time has passed. We will easily pick up where we left off because our friendship is in a category all its own. We’ve never seen each other’s living rooms and kitchens, but we’ve seen each other with acne, broken hearts, and often worse. We’ve talked long into the night during such formative years that certain songs from the 80s and early 90s and movies and shows and even certain words flood us with memories of each other.

3. Any small talk pertaining to each other’s family members is so much more than the unfairly named (in this case) small talk . “How is your dad?” “How is your sister?” These questions mean something and their answers will mean even more because we know each other’s family members from so many angles.

4. We will, over the course of our lives, help each other preserve those flashes of memory from childhood like the lecture about focusing on more than a guy’s looks that we got in high school from the mom who reminded us that looks fade. Or the pre-college pep talk we got from my dad who had us all in tears days before we all left for college. I remember another mom of our crew always calling us nice girls. “You are nice girls,” she’d insist. And she was right, we were (mostly) nice. Sometimes I suspect we made sure we were nice so she would approve. Every one of us cared about her opinion. We cared about all the parents’ opinions. I can’t tell if as a group we were uniquely invested in each other’s families, or if this is just the way of childhood friends. Either way, I’m grateful to have known you as full people with parents, siblings, grandparents, and cousins and to have practically lived at your houses and even in your cars. I’m grateful to have seen your roots and for you to have seen mine.

5. We will not remind each other (aloud) about stupid mistakes we made back in the day like boyfriends we fought over or the times in our lives when we let our friendship fade too much. None of that matters. You are here now. I am here now. We will always be there for each other in the important times. And if we can’t be there, we will understand that, too. We will get that there is a current life with responsibilities and struggles and even joys that neither of us is a part of for the other because of distance, time, and reality. We will not hold this against each other or pretend that pictures on Facebook changes that fact. We will just get it. Our friendship will exist in that rare time and space protected by the drama of hurt feelings. We’ve been through enough middle school and teenage angst together that our taste for it as adults has long since passed (at least with each other).

6. We will love each other unconditionally because our memories are too precious to let conditions get in the way.


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  1. 1

    Dawn says

    Too bad women like that don’t exist in real life. In the real world, childhood best friends are secretly hoping you get fatter than them after having children, it’s just the way it is.

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    • 2

      rose says

      totally agree. Had a best friend in highschool who was a part of my soul. I got married in college and she continued her way of life. Which didn’t bother me. But hurt because i was ”no longer cool’ once we both graduated we both found out we were pregnant. Brought us closer until she tweeted ”pregnant and hoping i dont gain as much weight as some of my friends did” she was refering to me. I felt like i just found out my husband was cheating and now we have to file for divorce. But i stalked that bitch on facebook…guess who is fat as a log and suffered from ppd and doesnt have the babydaddy in the picture? Not me!

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      • 3

        Liza says

        I feel very sorry for both of you. Color me naive, but I thought these kinds of perspectives were a product of reality TV. I don’t have anyone in my life who is like this.

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        • 4

          Kim says

          Wow. You poor women. Who takes enjoyment in an old friend getting fat and suffering PPD? No wonder you didn’t have any real friends. You don’t know how to be one.

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    • 5

      Mary says

      Geez that’s just sad. :( I’m glad my bestie is this awesome. We’ve grown up into very different people, but I’ll always have her back, and she’s one of the very few people I know I can always count on.

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  2. 6

    rose says

    this reminds me of ”desperate housewives” or ”the housewives of…” or ”pretty wicked moms” looks good from the outside, but once you get in your car to leave, you roll your eyes and wish this doesnt happen again until you lose more postbaby fat like sharon and find out where suzie gets her hair done and what cook book molly used to make that wonderful meal. Thats how it is. Comparing each other to see who is aging better and who still looks like theyre in highschool.

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    • 7

      Amy says

      Rose you are right, that IS the reality. People are very socially naïve. A truly good friend who genuinely thinks well of you and who would put your needs above her own when needed is VERY rare. Most are just the showy types, they put on the act of a good friend but would drop your ass faster than a moldy donut, I don’t believe it was always this way. Times are changing and people are becoming more and more soulless. Such a shame.

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  3. 8

    sarah says

    I am one of the lucky ones who can truly say this is exactly what my childhood best friends are like. I’m so lucky and blessed to have such wonderful women in my life. Everyone deserves to have these types of friendships. Sometimes these friends are the glue to keep you together when life tears you down.

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  4. 10

    Mary says

    I actually miss my bestie a lot… Life has just gotten busy… She’s had medical and family things going on, I’ve been going through the aftermath of a divorce and adjusting to the new single-mom-of-teens status… but I know I can pick up the phone and if I was in bad shape, she’d be here in a heartbeat. Same goes for her…

    We might not talk every day like we did in Jr. high, but then we don’t get into ridiculous arguments like we did back then, either. lol I know I wouldn’t be the same person without her in my life, and I’m grateful for all the insanity we’ve made it through together.

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  5. 13

    Kristen McClure says

    Wow. True friends… I have just a few but all are long term. My long time friend, over 25 years, just the other day sent me a nice note saying “true friendship isn’t about being inseparable. It about being separated and nothing changes”. Lately we haven’t had much time together. She has a 15 year old and I have a 5 month old. Our schedules don’t exactly mix. I don’t know how some “friends” say or feel the vengeful or nasty things some do. Nina I am responding to let you know there are some true adult friends who do feel the limited time we do have together is a chance to realize we are still friends and nothing has changed (especially when everything else has)!

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  6. 15


    This is great! I love the girls I grew up with, and even though we live all up and down the East Coast now, when we do have time to get together, we’re always able to pick up right where we left off. Another point to add for us would be that it doesn’t matter if our lives get busy with jobs, school, or family and we don’t talk for 3 days, 3 weeks, or 3 months, we know we can count on each others’ friendship no matter what!

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  7. 19

    cortney says

    So sad for you Dawn and Rose. My besties have been around since childhood. We try to talk once a month, but we are all in different seasons of life right now and spread across the country, though it doesn’t matter how long we go without speaking we can catch back up in an instant. Sure we judge one another, but we LOVE one another more and that’s what matters. Heck, I even judge my husband when he’s deserving, and vis-versa. They are my family, they have my heart, they are my sisters. I get that’s its un-”cool” to be friends with women, because we seem to give other women a far worse reputation than actually deserved, but the truth is there is amazing comforts and wonders provided in same sex friendships that will never be able to be fulfilled by mixed friendships. We can laugh love cry and fight, but they’re the people I know I can and will always count on no matter what and who will understand..

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  8. 20

    Kim says

    I have 2 life long friends like this. 19 years later and we can still pick up the phone and its genuine friendship. Doesn’t happen for everyone – but I so cherish those friendships.

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  9. 23

    Jenelle says

    My friends and I have drifted closer and farther and closer and farther but we’ve always known we’re there for each other. And you’re right, I have no idea what most of their living rooms look like and none of them know mine (we’ve moved a lot) but we know each others’ hearts! Be the friend you want to have and you will have the friends you want.

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  10. 25

    Stephanie Sprenger says

    I love this post, Nina, and I’m grateful that I’m able to relate to it, and grateful for the wonderful friends from my “formative years” who are still in my life today! :)

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  11. 26


    It’s one of the most fascinating parts of friendship to me. The people who have never seen my house and I can go five years without seeing them. And yet. I ask about their parents and I’m really invested and curious. I ask about their kids and try to wrap my head around the fact that they have kids the same as we were when we met!
    And then I have the daily life friends I see all of the time.
    And all of the in betweens too.
    Love this.

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  12. 29

    Karley Holmberg says

    If that didn’t hit the spot. I still talk to my best friends dad whenever I see him (more than I physically see her) he’s my friend on facebook (despite paranoid right wing religious crap) when her lover died I called her immediately, and made her laugh because she needed it. There’s a gaping space of distance between our bodies, but only a quarter inch between our hearts, I love my sister from another mother.

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  13. 30

    Carolina Hebert says

    I have 3 childhood friends I still talk to and once every 5 years get to see since I moved from FL to AK then to MS but now that I am in MS I can alot closer and am planning a trip this summer to see them all. We talk on fb and text. and everything in this artical is so true.

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