Thursday, May 26, 2011
Friends are Family
My friends are not like family. They are family. They know me inside and out. They've seen me at my best and my very worst. We've leaned on each other, encouraged each other and cheered for each other. We've had fights, celebrations and everything in between. I have friends I have known since I was 4 years old. My friends have grown up with me. They have been with me through childhood, the teen years, my mother's death, my marriage, the birth of my kids, job losses and changes. My friends know not to treat me like a guest in their homes because it makes me uncomfortable. My friends know to stock (cold) Diet Coke for me. We stock weird light beer for our friends. We are the same age and our kids are the same ages. If we live in the same neighborhood, we see each other every day. They know Sara will probably need to mooch food from them. We see each other's kids temper tantrums and share barbecues. We have taken care of each other's kids. We've spent summer days watching the kids play outside.
In some ways, I have more in common with my friends than my family. My father and brothers like to fish, golf, hunt and partake in other manly pursuits. I'm a book worm who loves to run. My family wouldn't run unless they were being chased by a large animal. But, my family has shared memories and many of the same traits (some good, some bad). We are all compulsively punctual. We walk around the house while brushing our teeth. We cannot do any household repairs. We all drink Diet Coke first thing in the morning. We can laugh over Christmases and vacations past. No one else was there. No one will get the inside jokes. Only we can laugh over Mom's "roadkill" fur hat. No one else knows that when I laugh, I sound just like my mom. No else knows where the childhood nicknames come from. Only we know that my brother ate chicken noodle soup for breakfast every day of high school. We know my nieces inherited my mom's singing voice. I am blessed because I have wonderful friends and family. I am blessed because they know all my quirks and put up with me anyway.