Friends Are Chosen Family

The Driscolls are our closest and dearest friends. They had just moved to Elizabeth Street in Hopkinton, MA from Texas and we moved right next door a few months later from Atlanta, GA. I was four and I vividly remember walking over with my family to meet “our neighbors” because we heard they had a girl my age. Nicole was shy as can be but fate took over and we all became great friends.
We all talk about how lucky we were to be neighbors. It felt rare and incredibly special. I can’t even put into words how magical it was! The perfect, idyllic even, childhood. We had dinners at each other’s houses. Sleepovers as often as possible. It was like having an extra mom and dad and two more sisters.
When my family moved to Florida when I was eight, it was devastating. I was furious at my parent’s… all I cared about was that it seemed horrible they were separating Nicole and me! (Nicole and I both think it’s probably a good idea it happened though because we definitely wouldn’t have made other friends. We had an unbreakable bond that no one could compete with.)
The stories we have get told over and over again and they seem to get funnier and funnier every year that passes. The night Laura tricked me to pull out a loose tooth. My sister marching over to “Wa-was” in just a sweatshirt and rainboots. The sleepover where Nicole snuck back to her house thinking I wouldn’t notice. The war game we would play until we got yelled at for slamming doors. My mom and Laura signing up for a egg decorating class (we’re still confused by this) and ditching it for a cooking class down the hallway. 
The Driscolls were down for a vacation in Florida and stopped by our house for a couple of days. I flew down for the week so our trips would overlap and my sister even took a day off of work so we could all hang out. It wasn’t the longest get together, but we squeezed in the most laughs we possibly could. (A solid 90% of the laughs were shared between my mom and Laura….)
I think everyone hated me when I encouraged (aka forced) everyone to take family photos together. I get it. Taking photos is rarely fun. (I could live a happy life never taking another photo.) BUT, everyone always loves having the photos when they’re done. I’m the person who offers to take photos of tourist families or snaps a cute pic of a friend when she’s having a good hair day. So I pushed for the photos. There were eyerolls and complaints. And yet… when the photos were edited and distributed via Dropbox, everyone stopped what they were doing and scrolled through ten times, posted them on Instagram and Facebook, and generally oohed and ahed. 
As much as we love these photos now, I think we’ll cherish them years from now too.
Nicole and I are the same age and Stacy’s two years younger and Janelle is three years older. As kids, Stacy seemed like a baby and Janelle was too cool to hang out with “the kids.” (Oh the fights…) Nicole and I always teamed up, leaving poor Janelle stuck with Stacy in whatever game we played. Now that we’re all adults, it’s awesome that we all feel so close. The age thing means next to nothing. 
Photos by my favorite Carter Fish
Feeling prettttttty lucky for this friendship.

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BEAUTIFUL FAMILIES! And it's true – age gap dissolves among friends, siblings and cousins as we get older.


Such a wonderful set of stories (read them all). Best friends are truly magical! She’s lucky to have so many surprises:)