100% of kids have a best friend. Don’t even try to challenge that; it’s a fact. Some kids have more than one best friend, which dilutes the meaning a little bit, but it’s true. Just ask the nearest kid around you, “Hey, who is your best friend?” My 5-year-old daughter already has three or four, depending on the day you ask her, and she really believes all of these friends qualify as her best friend.
The idea of having a best friend often gets lost in the transition from childhood into adulthood, and most adults these days would say they don’t have a best friend, or they say their spouse is their best friend, but that’s lame. Your spouse has sex with you (or should be), and that is an immediate disqualification from best friend status. Don’t get me wrong; my wife and I were friends before we ever started dating, and I want to spend time with her more than anyone else, but spouse and best friend are, and should be, two distinct relationships.
A few years into our marriage, my wife and I realized that we not only didn’t have a best friend, we didn’t have any really close friends. We knew a lot of people, but no one we considered our best friends. No one who would get up in the middle in the night to help us out, and certainly no one we wanted to help out in the middle of the night.
In late 2008, all of that changed. We joined a new church, and within months met some people with whom we really connected. We started getting together outside of church for dinners or bike rides or play dates, and spending time with them became a natural part of life. If they needed something, we were the first ones there to help, and vice versa. If they celebrated a birthday, a promotion or new car, we celebrated with them, and vice versa. We played games together, shared struggles with each other, and became cheerleaders for one another. We became best friends.
Life is much richer as a result of our friendship, and nothing has been able to separate us, not even living 2,000 miles apart.
Who is your best friend (and your spouse doesn’t count)? If you couldn’t answer that in less than two seconds, you don’t have one.
Kids are always excited to spend time with their best friend, and I think they have it right on this one. There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother, and it’s time you found this person and started cultivating a great friendship. But be warned: you just might starting acting like a kid again, and that’s a good thing.