By Heather Keenan

Dear Childless Best Friend,

As I watch my children grow and get older it has started to occur to me that I owe you a huge thank you. You have stood by my side through it all. There was the beginning, when I was so afraid to take my bundle of joy in public, due to the fact that I was absolutely sure that everyone, besides us, had wicked viruses just waiting to infect my baby. You were there, standing by my side as I wrapped her car seat up, in not much short of saran wrap, to keep those germs away just so we could go grab a bite to eat at our favorite-since-high-school spot.

Thank you for understanding that I couldn’t leave my first born for the first few years of her life because it broke my heart to not have her around me at all time, even though that meant I didn’t make your wedding rehearsal dinner and that I left your actual wedding a little early so that I could make sure I was the one who put her to bed. Thank you for still letting me be part of that life event for you, even though it was on my terms.

Thank you for coming to my house after you got off of work twice a week to stand in the kitchen with me while I made dinner for the kids and laugh with me about all of our crazy stories that we love to tell over and over. I know that you could have been 100 other places those nights, but you weren’t. You stood there, holding my baby, and watched me stir macaroni and cheese as though you could not imagine being anywhere else.

Thank you for not forgetting about me when I moved away from our hometown. I was so worried that our friendship would, if not end, take a huge toll, and it never did. You always made sure to come and see me as much as you could because you knew it was harder for me to travel with the kids to see you. Again, you would come to my house and sit around with a houseful of kids and watch Elmo as if there was not one other single thing you would rather be doing.

Thank you for being there when I need you and for making me feel like no matter what life throws my way, I am still the same girl that you took turns driving an old Pontiac Firebird through my granddad’s field with. Thank you for waiting for me to stop being a new, paranoid mom and realize that it is okay to leave the kids and get out of dodge for a weekend. I wouldn’t trade those weekend for anything in the whole world and I could not be happier to have rediscovered my love for the White Russian.

Thank you for being my best friend when it would have been so easy for you to not be. Life keeps handing me curveballs, but that’s fine by me, because I know that all I have to do is call you and things will focus. Thank you for treating me and my girls like your own family, we absolutely consider you ours, and are better people for having you in our lives.

Thank you and I love you,