I have recently been contacted by someone who was a close friend when I was in my teens and early twenties. In the intervening years we drifted apart and now are having fun catching up on all that we have missed in between.
Whilst I have made friends at other stages in my life, some of them extremely good and loyal ones, there is something very special about the friends you make in childhood.
When you are young every day is an adventure and your best friend is the person that goes through that step by step with you. Because so much is new, you are constantly experiencing things for the first time as is your friend. This brings a bond that is difficult to replicate in later life. In your teens everything is about you and you have a seemingly limitless capacity to analyse and discuss every event without delay or interruption. This sharing of experiences leads to an understanding of a person's inner character which I have never again found other than with my soul mate. Friends made in later life often do not have the depth of knowledge simply because when you are no longer a child there simply isn't the time to be so self indulgent. Friends now understand other parts of me and my life - aspects such as work or the children or hopes and aspirations and often each friend is limited to one piece whilst having very little knowledge about another part of my make up. Perhaps this is a defence mechanism that we develop as we become more adept at managing relationships and seek to protect ourselves from over exposure and possibly danger of rejection. Or perhaps that's just me.
In the meantime I am excited that I am back in touch with someone who used to know me as well as I knew myself. Clearly much has happened in the gap but I am looking forward to rebuilding our friendship on the solid foundations on which it was originally based.