My first real friends name was Belinda. We met when Belinda and her family built their house across the road from my house, when she was about 8 and I was about 10. Before very long we really were the best of friends. By the time we hit our early teens we were spending most afternoons and weekends hanging out, and if we weren't together we'd whistle across the road to say we were about to ring up for a chat. Now that I'm a parent I wonder why our parents let us do that...and with a smile I realise it probably wouldn't have been worth the arguments if they had said no.
All these years down the track I still treasure our friendship and the memories of growing up together in paradise, though I'm sure that's not how we thought about it at the time. And now, funnily enough, I am seeing history repeat itself.
My 8 year old daughter Tyra and her little 10 year old friend Lani, who yes lives across the road, giggle, dance and chat the afternoons and weekends away. Instead of whistling to each other, they ring their bike bells until one or the other comes out to play. Every time I hear those bells a sense of nostalgia comes across me as I am transported back in time to two little girls who had hardly a care in the world and who's lives would unfold in amazing ways and different directions.
We would both grow up and find all the love and happiness that we deserved but there would also be unexpected loss and life changing events along the way. We have both been blessed with loving partners and children, and have maintained contact all these years down the track.
I can only imagine what Tyra and Lanis stories maybe 37 years from now...I hope at the very least, along the exciting and winding roads that they will follow, they will always know where the little girl is who lived across the road. If they are really lucky, they will still be the very best of friends.