She was on my husband’s volleyball team. A stay-at-home mom with two toddlers. I was working, miles from my family, and very lonely. We had one thing in common, a love for Scrabble.
We started playing weekly on my days off when her girls were napping. As we talked over our favorite board game we found we had more differences than similarities. We began to laugh more, be lonely less, and though we were very different in personality and taste, we started to like each other.
She beat me every game for months. I kept coming back. It was good to have someone to talk to, even if her life was vastly different than mine. Early in our conversations we found out we were California girls relocated to Idaho by our husbands. We reminisced about our childhoods and talked about how different life is in Idaho.
As the years went by, her girls grew up and she had two more babies while I was struggling with the pain of infertility. She included me as much as I could handle and listened lovingly to my agony over wanting my own.
We joked that someday, our lives would switch. I would be the stay-at-home mom, neck deep in toddlers, longing for adult conversation and she would be the busy career girl running off to work each day.
We did exactly that. Fifteen years after we met, I had three little ones under five, and she was a busy career woman with a college degree.
Eighteen years later, our unlikely friendship is best friendship. We lean on each others differences for balance and stability. We count on the “opposite” perspective, grateful for the years we spent figuring out how to be completely different and completely friends.