When Friends Become Family

SHL and I recently flew down to Austin to visit my bestie, her husband, and two kids.  It was the first time that we were being introduced to Dheven, who was born on March 4th, and already it was breaking my heart a little bit that I hadn’t met this little guy in person yet (only over Skype).  When A’s first son was born she was living in Philly at the time, which made it much easier to hop on a train and visit when V was only 5 weeks old (I’ll never forget that weekend.  Seeing your BFF as a Mom for the first time is a pretty cool thing!).

A and I have been the closest of friends since our freshman year of college, and luckily we both always seem to put in an effort to make sure that we see each other as much as we can.  After college I went to NYC and she to Philly, so every couple of months one of us would catch a train and spend the weekend in the other’s city.  Throughout those first few years after college we met each other’s boyfriends, celebrated birthdays, tried all the cool restaurants in each of our ‘hoods, shopped, sipped cocktails, and basically did all those things that you love to do with your girlfriends.  Each year we would get together with our two other close friends and do something, whether it was attending A’s brother’s wedding in Houston, a long weekend in San Diego or Miami, or even vacationing in Greece!  Years went by and before I knew it, A was engaged, then married, then a Mom.  I was dating and then engaged to SHL, A had moved to Florida and then to Texas, I to Boston, and as you can imagine, our visits took a little bit more planning.  But still, we spent weekends together on the Cape, took V to Flamingo Gardens in Miami, celebrated my engagement and wedding, talked on the phone, and sent birthday gifts.  Sometimes our lives have been in very different places (A was dating, then engaged and married her husband while I was still single).   But somehow, despite the differences, there were always more than enough similarities to keep us close.

This last weekend in Austin was one of the best visits.  Maybe it was because I got to see A’s husband T and my husband pal around together (everybody wants their husbands to get along with their BFF’s husbands!), maybe it was because we got to meet Dheven for the first time and I got to give him a bath and cuddle with him, or maybe it was because V is now talking up a storm and has such a great sense of humor!  Maybe it was because A and I don’t just live in the past (though we love to tell stories of college, traveling in Europe, and snafus along the way), but because we still have as much to talk about as ever. Maybe it’s because while we celebrate the good times together (A was my Maid of Honor at my wedding) we also still lean on each other during the tough times too.  Maybe it’s because I truly feel like an Aunt when I’m with her kids, slathering sunscreen on V before we hit the tennis courts, taking pictures of the kiddos, plying with V in the pool, changing a diaper, giving a bath, reading a story. Maybe it’s because V calls us Aunty Sam and Uncle Sean and after we left we were thrilled to hear that he told his parents that he was going to Boston so he could visit us.  It’s a special kind of friendship that we all have with each other, and it’s not something that I take for granted, or ever want to.  And it truly is a great example of how friends really can become family.

Austin Texas, June 11th, 2011

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