I started the Valentine’s Day “season” a little Scrooge-y. I mean, I’m still finding needles from the Christmas tree, and all of a sudden I find myself back in a crowded Target with a mile-long list of candy and cards for four different classrooms. Then it’s back home to get the kids (or myself) to label all the cards and candy and get them in the right bag on the right day. Then the parties, goodie bags, and oh yea, a card for the hubby. Whew. Too much for a supposedly “Hallmark” holiday!
But then something happened that reminded me of one of the “real” meanings of Valentine’s Day – for our kids at least. My daughter received a sweet Valentine from her friend that said: “You are my BFF” with lots of hearts and exclamation points. The card brought a huge smile to my daughter’s face and made me realize two things:
1. It’s just a tad reassuring to know that we are, hopefully, raising a good person – a girl who has the capability to be someone’s BFF; and
2. There’s something so sweet in the fact that little girls are still using the term BFF.
Hold on. OMG. Could it be the girls of the ’80s – the same girls who loved NKOTB and crimped hair – might’ve actually come up with one of the first Internet “slangs” before the Internet ever existed? AND we managed to keep it in pop culture long enough for our daughters to use it. Now who’s LOL?!
I guess the card also made me a bit nostalgic because my own BFFs and I still add “BFF” to all the cards we send each other. Our husbands roll their eyes when they see it, but we don’t really care. We know that those three letters mean one thing: we’ve got history (or I guess it could also mean we’re still mentally 7-year-old girls, but I’ll roll with the first explanation).
It means we know each other inside and out; we’ve seen each other grow up – physically and emotionally – from giggly girls to 30-something-year-old-women (who might still giggle a time or two – see 7-year-old-girl mental capacity comment above). We’ve made it through long summers at the pool, 8th grade school dances, high school parties, terrible jobs, bangs, proms, sharing a small college dorm for two years, living in different cities, boyfriends, weddings, babies, and the economy – and we’re still BFFs.
Yes, I know BFFs are made in all stages of life, but it’s the lifetime BFFs that are the keys to our past. They are they ones who will tell our kids what we were really like growing up (if we let them) and will keep us in check if we start to get fuzzy about the person we should be today. As a mother, there is something so reassuring to know that there’s someone out there who can pass along all of those memories to my children if I can’t (not to go all “Beaches” on you – it’s just nice to know).
I can only hope my daughter makes a couple of lifetime BFFs. Isn’t it such a bittersweet part of motherhood? I guess I’m used to being her BFF, but I know it’s time for her to make her own. They need to start their own adventures and make their own memories – I’ll just be there to watch the dances they choreograph, shuttle them to and from the pool, and eavesdrop in the car on the way home from the school dance. And all the while I’ll be smiling because I know the journey is just so much sweeter when you can share it with a BFF.
So, on this day full of hearts, cards, and candy galore, smooch your hubby, hug your kids, and don’t forget to send a little love over to your BFF.