1. Accepted You At Your Most Raw
When your friends with someone for years, you’ve seen them at their most unpolished and grimy. Your childhood friend saw you through the bowl haircut, and the braces, and jorts and didn’t care that you had acne . They subconsciously taught you it is okay to not always look pristine and polished and beautiful, because someone out there will still want to eat poptarts and watch MTV with you.
2. Teach You What It Was Like To Live With A Broken Heart
Most of the time, our first crushes also are our childhood best friends. We latch onto them because they feel safe, close, and right for us because they share their snacks and spend all their free time rough housing with us. Even more often, these crushes don’t work out. The first time we realize that people don’t like us just because we like them, it can be truly devastating. We learn, for the first time, that love isn’t easy and doesn’t happen just because we think it is right. This first heartbreak sticks the most because it is the first wound we have to patch up with a smile on our face as we color pencil during science class across from the person we thought would be ours.
3. Laugh Through The Awkward With You
In the fourth grade I told a boy that my friend had a crush on him. In retaliation, my friend pants me during recess in front of the entire grade. At the time, I was devastated and faked a cold for the next two days so I wouldn’t need to face all the people who had seen my power-rangers underwear. Now, I understand that awkward moments are bound to happen, and you can either laugh through them or let them dominate you. Your childhood best friend will have gone through some of the most painfully awkward moments with you and it is through that you begin to understand that these moments of insecurity are fleeting.
4. Taught You What Friendship Should Be Like
Probably some of your first fights with childhood best friends are over stupid things such as not sharing a toy, or crushing on the same person, or not going to each other’s birthday parties because one of you had the stomach flu. Through fights, and laughs, and trial-and-error you and your childhood best friend begin to create a blueprint for how you’ll treat friendships for the rest of your life. If you had a friend who would constantly tease and mock you, you may grow up to only surround yourself with people who are emotionally supportive and bring you pizzas when you’re sad. You learn exactly what friendship should mean to you by the friendships you establish with your childhood best friend.
5. Developed Your Sense Of Humor
Growing up, I hung out with a ton of girls and perhaps that is the reason i’ve never once found a fart joke funny. The people you hang out with as a child begin to shape what we find humorous, scary, and exciting because the more time you spend with someone at that impressionable age, the more your psyches begin to gel.