The Shy Girl… by JoAnn

Two girls are hanging on a clothesline.

When I was twelve years old, some forty-eight years ago, I walked into gym class at school one day, and there was a new girl I did not know. I could immediately tell that she was very timid and uncomfortable. I also noticed that she knew a girl I was acquainted with. That girl’s name was Molly. She and I had several classes together. Molly introduced us, and there began what would become a life-long friendship with my “bestie” Kalynn.

When I tell you that Kalynn was shy, I mean she was painfully shy! I considered myself shy, but I felt sorry for Kalynn. She would even break out in hives from her anxiety. But there was just something about this quiet girl that I felt drawn to. I liked her. The more I got to know her, it was evident that we had many things in common other than shyness. My favorite thing being Art. It was my best subject, and Kalynn was extremely talented at both drawing and painting. She had been taking private lessons for some time. I was in awe of her artistic abilities.

We spent lots of time outside of school. Going to the mall and eating out, but mostly just talking. I could talk to Kalynn about anything. She was understanding and sweet, and we seemed to see eye to eye on almost any subject. The more time the two of us spent together, the closer we became.

Before we knew it, we were graduating high school together. The majority of my friendships ended with graduation. But my friendship with Kalynn got stronger. We saw each other even more. Shopping, doing lunch, even double dating with our new boyfriends.

Before we knew it, we were both engaged to be married to said boyfriends. Kalynn was married in August, and I was a bridesmaid at her wedding. I was married that November. Unfortunately, Kalynn married a Navy guy. That meant she would need to move away to wherever his job may take him. Her first time away landed her in upstate New York. I missed my bestie tremendously.

My life took a direction that was so new to me. Right away, I was pregnant with my first child. This was before computers or cell phones, and my bestie was too far away. I had no other friends now. There was no one to give me a baby shower. No friend to talk to about all the new things happening in my life. It was a very lonely and challenging time for me. But I gave birth to a healthy baby girl and, 19 months later, gave birth to her little sister. Now I was married and a mommy of two.

Finally, Kalynn and her hubby moved back to town. Kalynn was sad because she also wanted children. Here I had two already, and she was finding it difficult to get pregnant. But that was about to change. Soon she was pregnant for the first time. She gave birth to a healthy little girl. Not too long after, she gave birth to another beautiful baby girl.

Our friendship seemed to be exactly where we had both wanted it for so long. Here we were, living in the same area, both married, and each a mommy to two little girls. We saw each other as much as our time would allow. We got our girls together for play dates, trips to McDonald’s, and the circus. We shared their birthdays with each other. When it was Kalynn’s birthday, I would make her a homemade cake. When it was my birthday, she would, in turn, bake me a cake.

Our friendship continued until Kalynn became pregnant with her third child. Another bouncing baby girl. I, too, had been hoping for a third baby and was feeling down that I couldn’t have one. When I visited Kalynn and her newest addition, I felt hope holding her newborn. A couple of months later, I was also pregnant with my third. You guessed it, another little girl. That made three little girls for each of us. I felt complete.

Unfortunately, my husband’s career took our family sixteen hours away when I was pregnant with our third daughter. I would have to be without my bestie again at a significant time in my life.

I missed the birthday parties for our girls, the birthday cakes for one another, the lunches, play dates with our girls, and everything else our wonderful friendship brought. But we stayed in touch the very best we could, first with old-fashioned snail mail. Then by emails, followed by messaging or chatting online. And we continued always to send each other greeting cards for holidays.

Nowadays, we continue to stay in touch primarily through social media. Kalynn just recently learned the joys of being a grandmother. All three of her girls are grown and successful. So are mine. I had grandchildren by the time I was forty-one.

I still refer to Kalynn as my bestie, and she refers to me as her bestest. I feel she is a part of my family more than a friend. She is so unique and special to me. It is hard to put into words just how special. We have known each other for so long and have gone through so many things together. I know for sure that she will forever be my bestie.