Can you remember your first best friend? I'm still best friends with mine (Thirty years of friendship)! It's funny to think that we've been good friends ever since we were Abigail's age!
Abigail's first friend, Isabelle, was born just two days after her and for the first year of their lives, until we moved to the States, they met up most weeks.
Since we came to Ohio, Abigail has grown up a lot but soon after we arrived she met Bri, who is just 4 months older than her and they have been best buddies ever since. We've lived here now for three years, which is three quarters of her lifetime ... so it really is her longest ever friendship!
Bri's mum started a photography business last year (check out Beloved Images) and so as part of Abigail's birthday present she gave the girls a BFF photo shoot, which they really enjoyed this morning. Here is just one of the gorgeous images she took, amidst the giggles.
One of the difficult parts of living the missionary lifestyle and moving from country to country every few years, especially for the children is saying goodbye to friends and having to make new ones. As adults, me and Mark can understand more what's going on and can process all the hello's and goodbye's, which doesn't always make it any easier but I can't imagine trying to assimilate all that so young.
Abigail has been practising making new friends in her new pre-school class at the moment and is often telling me how excited she is to go to her new school in Tanzania to meet her 'new friends' there too. We have been trying to build up the excitement of the move and all the fun things that will happen, as much as possible in these months leading up to it.
It's not only Abigail we have to look out for though. While Abigail is getting excited about all the new things that will happen, the closer it is upon us, the more aware I am that there are a few people here who will get left behind with a big gap in their lives. That their friends who have always lived round the corner won't be there anymore or anywhere nearby. Bri's mum was telling me today how difficult it has been to explain that Abigail won't be here for her birthday party next year and things like that.
It breaks my heart to know that the implications of our decisions make some things really difficult not only for our girls but also for their friends too. While the benefits of the experiences they will have living across different cultures will be huge, there will inevitably be the bittersweet moments, like when Bri and Abigail have to say a final goodbye in just a few months time. Thank goodness for Skype, that's all I can say!