The Code Between Childhood Friends

by Nina Badzin
Originally Published: 
10 Tips on How to be a Good Friend

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.

This article was originally published on