The Splash Pad

2015-08-21 16.41.27

My best friend sat next to me Friday afternoon as our kids played in the local splash pad. Months had passed since we last saw each other and the only communication we have had was some texts back and forth and sending each other ridiculous pins on Pinterest.

We don’t talk weekly on the phone, or even via text. We aren’t constantly emailing each other or PM-ing each other on Facebook. If someone asks me what she is up to, I don’t usually know.

If you were listening in on our conversation Friday, you would know right away that we were best friends, and had been for a long time. You would never guess that we lived in different states and rarely talked. Our conversation was just as easy Friday as it had been when we were in high school lying on towels on the beach.

We talked about nothing, but that was everything.

There was a group of moms who were all blonde, thin, and attractive near by. They were clearly a group who got together often with their kids–whom they were not watching. This was evidenced by the very small toddler who kept walking over to us and trying to join our little area. His mom never once looked over. I kept worrying that he would fall and choke on his cracker he was carrying around, but he never did.

We talked about that group. We had both seen groups like it before, but had never joined one. Neither of us felt like we fit into a group like that. Both of us work full-time as teachers, both of us are “advanced maternal age” (shut up).

Then our conversation shifts to summer bucket lists and getting our classrooms ready for school. We even give the palazzo pants a quick shout out–I wondered what shoes you were with them and she said, “um. flip flops. duh.” She’s right. She is always right about footwear.

Sometimes I am jealous of other people’s best friend relationships. Other people live close to their BFF. Other people run everything in their life past their bestie. I see people taking pictures and having girl nights and slumber parties and all these close, fun things.

That’s not how I roll.

I don’t call her every time I’m depressed or anxious. She hasn’t said much to me about her dad’s health problems.

She was the first person I texted each time I found out I was pregnant–all five times–though. Some people didn’t even find out our second pregnancy until we were pregnant with Eddie and relatively sure he was going to “stick”.

She was my matron of honor in our wedding. During her toast at the reception she got one joke out and then started crying so hard, she couldn’t finish. We didn’t have to talk about it.

We both felt like friend fails when we couldn’t drive the almost three hours to be with the other when she had her first baby (or in my case my second and third as well).

I think about her often though. As I started reading The Attachments by Rainbow Rowell last night, I giggled at the email exchanges that would probably mirror ours if we actually emailed each other. When I shop, I hear her voice in my head saying “try that on even if you don’t think you’ll like it. PUT DOWN THE BLACK. No, navy does not count as ‘a pop of color’. Don’t even look at those jelly shoes. YOU LOOKED! I’M DONE WITH YOU!” And I can’t watch Home Alone without texting her that “last year I got a sweater with a big bird knitted on it.”

And I’m pretty sure I am not even capable of watching Reality Bites without her.

I wish our afternoon at the splash pad was a routine happening and not something out of the ordinary. I’d wish for her and her husband and son to move back to our little spot in Michigan, but I know they wouldn’t be happy. They love their Big City life and they are perfect for it.

So instead I will wish for ways to see her/them more often. And if that means I have to stay in a nice hotel and get pedicures in the city, so be it.

About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.


  1. My best friends all live in different countries. I haven’t seen most of them for years. But I know that we will definitely pick up where we left off last.

    And then there are the best friends I’ve never met. Y’all know who you are.