My best friend doesn’t know what to say when I mention that a romantic trip I just returned from went slightly astray. After admitting spending time with my boyfriend wasn’t as fun as I hoped, my best friend took a long sip of her drink, blinking unsurely before looking over my shoulder, screeching and knocking into the table.
I wiped up her spilled drink.
My best friend’s drink of choice these days is chocolate milk and, at the restaurant, a window washer had appeared behind me. There would be no more talk of my romantic life. That’s the kind of best friend I have.
What did I expect? Of course washing windows is more interesting to her than my personal life. Yet, less than an hour earlier my best friend and I were laughing hysterically together as she accidently spit toothpaste from her mouth onto my hand and I spritzed hair spray in her face. She had also just complimented me: “I want to have boobs just like yours!”
My best friend and I spend almost all of our free time together, share the same room and hairbrush, and can talk for hours. She’s not only my roommate, she’s also my daughter. Did I mention she is 7 years old?
I realize how ridiculous this sounds, but from the moment she was born I made sure I would have a different type relationship with my daughter than I had with my mother. My daughter and I would be open and honest about everything. No question was to be out of bounds.
My mini-BFF knew what a tampon was from the time she was 3 and, if you ask, can recite lines from Sex and the City 2.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not sure if treating my daughter like my best friend is the best idea. We all see celebrities like Lindsay Lohan and Miley Cyrus out partying with their mothers and we know what train wrecks they are.
But, if you take celebrity and money out of the equation (which, I think, really is to blame), is it really wrong for you to treat your child as a friend?
Right now, at age 7, it seems okay. She does her homework. She listens to me when I tell her to shut of the television. And, quite frankly, I’d rather have a ‘date night’ with her than any guy. Kids’ movies are fun!
Right now, it seems I have managed to find a balance between being a parent (“Write out that word five times before your spelling test!”) to being a best friend (“What teacher do you love/hate the most?”).
My other best friend (in the adult world) is 36 years old and has always been best friends with her mother. My friend, a successful businesswoman and mother of three, was so close with her mother that her mom was the first to know when she lost her virginity.
I would like to be that kind of mother. I want my daughter to feel open enough to talk to me about her sex life. And I believe that a relationship like this has to be started when they are young. The other option is to be a constant nag, telling her to clean up after herself and demanding to see her homework each day. And, please, don’t tell me there’s a balance. Every mother knows that there is no finding balance when it comes to anything to do with parenting. It is what it is.
I can pretty much guarantee that no matter how I treat her now, whether more of a friend than a parent, or more of a parent than a friend, it is somewhat of a crap shoot on how she’ll end up. We know great parents whose kids end up crackheads. And we know crappy parents whose children end up just fine.
I’m going to continue on my route treating my daughter as my mini-BFF. That is, unless the managers and agents start calling. Then I’ll really put my foot down.