I've been friends with Nancy since before she was born. Really. Our moms and dads were friends, and I was born first (which was always a source of pride growing up, but we all know who got the better deal now, right?) so I turned 8 months old the day before she was born. And today, July 25, is the day she was born, X amount of years ago. It's nice to have a friend in which the getting-to-be-friends part is already done for you—we just were friends. Similar, in ways, to how you just breathe air. You don't think about it, you just do.
We share a lot of history, Nancy and I. We have enough stories to tell on each other to keep us entertained for a long time. I remember being horrified when we were little the time she colored on the top of her beautiful baby doll, Victoria, with permanent marker, after getting in trouble for knocking down the enormous family Christmas tree. She most certainly remembers being horrified by the time I talked her into ice skating, limbo-style, under a hammock in our back yard which led to a very unpleasant clunking of her head on the ice, nearly knocking herself unconscious. I always thought spending the night at her house in the middle of winter was the most fun thing in the world, because for a long time, until her father reluctantly gave in, her house was like a pioneer house: heated with a wood-burning stove instead of central heat (boring). We were scared silly on her 16th birthday by an eerie tragedy that occurred many years before. We've gone to the beach together, played in band and sang in church choir together, liked some of the same boys (one of which I ended up marrying, ha), made a movie together, and occasionally had it out with each other. But like sisters, we always figured it out. I always thought of her family as an extension of my own, as I know she feels about mine.
There are definitely trade-offs to living this Air Force lifestyle. I've absolutely loved living in the places we've lived, meeting and making friends I never would have met otherwise. But it's hard to be away from family and old friends. Every time we go back to Ohio, I realize just how hard it is. Though Nancy and I don't see each other but once (maybe twice) a year, we always pick up where we left off, as if we're living in one big time warp where months are minutes and in order to catch up on everything that's going on, we have to talk really fast. But I wish we could raise our children together. Already, Maddie and M—— are becoming fast friends. (Hey Nance, give me the go-ahead and I'll post the most adorable picture ever!) They don't seem to need a lot of warm-up time, either. Maybe it's because they're 3 and 4, or maybe it's because they are able to plug into the time warp, too. I'd like to think it's the latter.
So Happy Birthday, Nancy. I know we did a really poor job with the formal goodbye this time around, but I'm betting we'll do a really poor job with the formal hello next time, too. And that's OK. : )
p.s. Frontier has a new direct flight from Akron-Canton to Denver