It is said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. If that is indeed the case, then my friend, Meg, should be very flattered indeed! You see, I have been unwittingly imitating her since the day I was born!
Our parents were varsity friends, and I entered the world only 6 months after Meg made her debut – both born to teachers, both the second child in our respective families, both starting life in the same little suburb of Durban, South Africa. I remember, as a little tot, playing in Meg’s room and being fascinated with her jack-in-the-box. Her toys always seemed so much more exciting than mine and I have distinct memories of the pair or us sitting on the floor in our pretty, neon-coloured 80’s outfits, giggling as the puppet sprung from the box – it never got old!
At the age of 3, Meg’s family relocated to a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it, remote ‘town’ slap bang in the middle of Botswana, and wouldn’t you know it? My family followed a couple of months afterwards!
With only one pre-school, and later only one English-speaking primary school in the town, coupled with the fact that our families remained great friends, it was to be expected that Meg and I continued to spend a lot of time together as we grew up, splashing about in above-ground pools, romping around in the bush, and best of all, making our very own George’s Marvelous Medicine, thanks to a book that Meg’s mom had just read her. Conditioner, jam, lotion, shaving cream… you name it, if our toddler-sized hands could hold it, it went into our concoctions which became more daring and elaborate as time went on, much to our mothers’ horror. Eventually we were banned from playing that game, not too sure why?
As young girls, Meg and I remained close, bonding over bush fires, bicycles and Backstreet Boys (insert heart-emoji eyes). Ever the loyal Durbanites in a town filled with people from everywhere on the planet, we spent hours remembering our roots by caterwauling and rapping along to the 1990’s Natal Shark’s rugby song, Shark Attack in Meg’s lounge, leaping from couch to couch with youthful exuberance!
It was ‘round about that time that Meg first told me about this magical boarding school that her sisters went to where they served them pudding every single night! Could it be true?! We were soon to discover that it was indeed the case, when I once again ‘followed’ Meg and we both found ourselves attending the same high school, some 1,300km’s away from home. In a school of only 240 girls, Meg and I found ‘our tribe’ and, despite her being leagues ‘cooler’ than I was, we remained friends throughout our 5 years there.
Fast forward a few years, and although we now live in different cities and have not seen each other since Meg walked down the aisle, a vision of radiance, we have found ourselves on very similar life and parenting paths and have continued to cheer each other on from the sidelines, sharing in each other’s joys and triumphs. I could not have been prouder of Meg than I was when she launched her fantastic blog, Mommalikeme a few years ago, sharing her talent with the world and gathering a well-deserved following, and later on when she turned her hand to party planning I had no doubt that it would be a raging success.
Now, once again, I have found myself following in Meg’s footsteps as I begin my own blogging journey, and I could not be more grateful for the encouragement my lifelong friend has rained down on me, the advice that she has given so generously, and the support that she has provided, both emotionally when I have been nervous about pressing that ‘Publish’ button for the first time, and technically when I have not had a cooking clue how to do basic blogging things (thanks for that patient ‘Uploading Images for Dummies’ video, Mads).
We have walked quite a road together, Meg and I, one that has taken us from beach to bush, boys to babies. A lifelong friendship is something that is incredibly rare, and having seen each other through tragedies and triumphs, I can honestly say that I am waiting in anticipation to see where our journey takes us next.
Meg, I admire you, I cherish you… and I forgive you for that time you laughed yourself silly while letting those boys chase me all the way home on my bicycle after you dared me to call out to them from across the road.