This is Malou--my oldest friend (literally in age) and also because we have been friends since 5th Grade.
We have shared so many adventures and misadventures. Maybe I should share only the adventures. My first ever USA trip was with her and her mom, and Angel, the third angle in our trio. My first ever and only principal's call came because of Malou's Grade 7 antics. We were put on probation, with our bright classmate, Milen, and were never classmates again.
Though my mom disapproved of Malou at first ("She's too advanced for you."--and she was right!), our friendship stood the test of time--through many arguments, many shared triumphs and lows. That we did not speak to each other for many years because of a Joe Sample record, may well be the secret of our success because Malou gets bored easily and she tends to look for new adventures. She introduced me to Ricky and is godmother to my son, as I am to her daughter. It is a known fact that Malou is not an easy character to get along with but she has her strengths: she is extremely street-smart, shrewd, and self-confident. (Strengths ba iyon?) In her clear moments, she actually makes sense. Otherwise, she belong to a level all to her own.
My cousin asked me how I got along with Malou without competition or comparison. Now I know it is because there was none--Malou and I respected our differences when we were young and now that we are mid-lifing, we just let each other be. Her unwavering sense of self, albeit a bit twisted, kept us in our proper places. And I say all these in a good way, just like it is.
The best thing I like about Malou is that, with her, I can be myself. I am almost always crabby and curt around her. And it is so okay with her. I can tell her off, specially when she is going overboard and she actually backs off. She is a personality that can take what she dishes out.
Thirty-two years (and 32 pounds a piece) later since Grade 5, we have our own daughters--Beatriz, 4, her one-and-only child and reason for living, and Monica, 3, my youngest and my boss. My mom said it was funny how Malou and I are ruled by our kids--and we concede because we are old mothers for toddlers like them and thus, have no more stamina for petty discipline.
Bea and Monica had a chance to spend time together. Malou noticed some competition and jealousy for attention. We spent our reunion mediating fights and calming the cry babies. I found myself protective over Monica, remembering how Malou used to put one over me. Bea has a strong personality just like her mom. I am glad, though, that Monica actually stood her ground. Bea and Monica actually were able to play with each other with no further incident.
Here we are, the geriatric mamas to young toddlers. How uncanny that here we go again.