In rural East Texas, your first best friends are your cousins and your neighbors. And often, your cousin IS your neighbor! In my case, my cousin spent lots of time visiting my grandmother, who lived just one stop sign and few houses away. So, almost a neighbor.
I’m an only child, and people often ask “Weren’t you lonely growing up?”
Because of my cousin and my neighbor, I really can’t relate to that question. How could I be lonely when one bestie lived at the far end of my driveway and the other was conveniently at all family functions? Plus, they’re older than me by a few years, so I don’t know what it’s like not to have friends like them.
An upside to being related to and living next door to your best friends is that they’re stuck with you for life. Lucky them! And lucky, lucky me.