When my twins were little I stumbled into a conversation with someone I kind of knew but wasn't really friends with who had a son a few months younger than my girls. We were both really stressed and decided to get together that week because 2 against 3 is always better than going it alone. It was so fabulous we made it a habit. Once a week, without fail, we got together for lunch or shopping or just to let the kids play at the park.
Before long we were calling each other nearly everyday, meeting up two or three times a week. She was my emergency babysitter, and I was hers. We new where the cups and plates where in each others homes and what each others kids would and would not eat. We even started calling each other just to run errands so one of us could sit in the car with the kids while the other ran into the post office/bank/whatever that only ever takes you a minute, but is so daunting to do if you have to load and unload all your kids that you put it off forever.
About 18 months ago she moved to the north side of town to be closer to her husbands job. We weren't sure if we'd manage to still get together once a week, but knew we were going to make and effort to keep this going. Despite the rising gas prices, the addition of children to our families (2 each since we started getting together), her oldest going to school and the distance we still get together as often as possible.
We are each other's sanity. The place we turn when we just can't believe what one child or another did today, or when we aren't sure we can handle anymore of life's junk.
We started with 4 kids between us and our total child count has doubled since the early days of our friendship. Now we are our own playgroup. Our kids have grown up together. Our husbands get along great.
She's the sister I never had, the best friend I always needed. Found on a day I really needed someone to understand my life and having her has made all the difference.