Friendship is everything, when you don’t have a nest.
When you enter adulthood to build your own next.
When you sit alone on a branch until someone flutters over : ‘join me’
And your own nest widens… from one to two to three.
And soon you realize you have the whole tree.
Friendship is everything to me.
I sat with a friend over dinner and mused,
‘Why don’t people come visit when they move?’
She said….’Because they have families to go to.’
‘Oh yeah,’ and it hits me, like it always does.
I have very few ties with blood.
‘Your friends are like your family,’ she confirmed to me.
That’s how it’s been since my first friend at three.
Amber sat with me and dug in the sand.
My parents are the only link to my entire past.
And parents aren’t meant to last.
My husband and my son don’t know who I used to be.
They never can, because of those roles which hold me.
I got married young but I was well past the sandbox.
Amber and I hid in a station-wagon trunk once.
Because we didn’t have seat belts when the cops stopped us.
And Nikki, she played BSC with me.
I was Kristy Thomas and she, Claudia Kishi.
Nikki starred in my first fan-fiction.
We were ‘models and musicians’ with a Smashing Pumpkins addiction.
Katie and Nichole helped me seek Jesus in middle school.
And Hannah helped me know Good Will Hunting was cool.
Susan stuck by me the day I was left at the lunch bench.
And two decades later she’s still my best friend.
One Thanksgiving neither of my parents could be home.
Rachael took me in like I was one of their own.
And ‘one of their own’ is the mantra I stood by.
As my building burned down, with Susan’s grandma on standby.
To take me in when I was homeless, and feed us deli food.
The good kind, we ate it and re-watched Moulin Rouge.
I hung out at Blockbuster like it was a second home.
If I wasn’t ‘on the clock’, I’d go there just to roam.
And purposefully work holidays so I wouldn’t feel alone.
Or chase tornadoes with Kristi and cruise those winding roads.
Can a city be a friend? I think I found one, if so.
My Scottish love affair was with a guy…and his post code.
Life took us from our first flats, to Fargo after college.
And that’s the first time I realized without parents, we had….?
The childhood friends on pedestals, for sure and evermore.
But it hit me we had no one to ‘do life with’ anymore.
Just a tiny dot on a map of this huge country.
Nothing like the capital we’d lived in, young and hungry.
And this is where I found a tree.
Or the tree found me.
I had bump buddies in the flesh and we went to all those classes.
Amanda and I waddled together until bed rest kicked our asses.
But truly brought us closer as we went through it together.
It was like having a pregnant sister two blocks over on messenger.
And then Alistair was born.
Lindsey sat with us in the ER while I struggled to even move.
And I cried the whole way home, not from pain but from how I felt loved.
This sentiment continued as Alistair learned to crawl.
I knew no one with babies…until I knew them all.
I learned that though my blood family was tiny or erratic.
Friends were family in adulthood, too; blood is just semantics.
Friends aren’t like family to me, my family is my friends.
And to this end….
Now that I know…now that I’ve seen…friends can be everything, even after nineteen.