Best Friends Forever or BFF – one of those bizarre acronyms that our little ASD daughter does not ‘get’. The social complexities attached to it, the strange fact that it seems to tie you to that person forever, is that something I want? Is that possible? What if we fall out? For other girls, the phrase is bandied about, used with ease even with fair-weather friends and people you meet for a day or two in the holidays. Other girls know that the phrase is not binding, it is not set in stone, it is just a nicety.
For our daughter it is as serious as a contract, the rule is that you will indeed need to be Best Friends Forever if you tell someone they are a BFF. So, she uses it very sparingly. In fact, she has used it once and she means it from the bottom of her heart. Perhaps her and her BFF were destined to be that way, bound forever by a level of care and love that only two people who know each other inside out can ever achieve. A friend whose path she first came across when they were still growing in their mummys’ tummies.
My daughter’s BFF mother is my BFF (and I use it very sparingly too). Her mum is my rock, my shoulder to cry on, my listener, my accepter, my lifter-upper, my drop-everything-whenever-you-need-me person. She is a glorious individual who I can share anything with – she is not a fair-weather friend, she is a rain or shine, storm or sun, tsunami or calm friend. We met at antenatal classes, those bizarre groups where puffy faced mums-to-be get together to discuss things you wouldn’t ever have previously shared in public. From the first second, she looked like a friend, a soul mate in fact. We do not talk on the phone every day, we do not live in each other’s pockets, but we are there when we need each other and I hope from the bottom of my heart that she knows I am there for her too.
So imagine my delight that the love I feel for her is the same that my lovely little girl feels for her daughter too. From the days where we walked along with our prams side-by-side, to the moment my daughter watched her daughter walk her first few steps and copied her a day later, to the nights camping, to the first day at school, through the niggles and the bumps to the incredible relationship our girls have today. When they see each other, they slot back in to that world of their own, they collaborate, they take turns, they accept each other and bolster each other – true friends. My BFF even spoke to her daughter about our daughter’s recent ‘diagnosis’ and the delightful, innocent, full of hope response was ‘E is just E, nothing changes that’. I felt like crying. I want to thank her for being the sister my little girl doesn’t have, for being the constant BFF, for continuing to love my little girl tomorrow just the same as she did yesterday.
YH & JH, this one is for you both – we love you.