The Hope for New Friends
Best friends aren’t always the oldest
By: Julie Ryan Evans
It’s about 6:10 a.m. in June, the day we’re moving cross country-from Washington State to Florida. I’m trying a key in the front door lock, making sure it’s the right one, so I can leave it under the doormat for my friend, Kristin. I’ve asked her to keep it for us until our home sells, just in case.
It’s cold and dark, and I’m a mess of emotions. I see headlights coming down the street. “Shit, the car is here early.” It wasn’t supposed to come until 6:30 a.m. I was supposed to have 20 more minutes to get my 4-year-old up, dressed and happy enough to not to go kicking and screaming to the airport, sobbing about leaving his Washington house, his Washington friends, the only life he’s known.
But it’s not the Town Car. It’s Kristin with all of her enthusiasm, even at that early hour. She couldn’t let us leave without saying goodbye. She has cookies in a wax paper bag-because plastic isn’t safe–and hugs and tears that leave me overwhelmed with how much I’ll miss her.
I haven’t even known her a year-just since last fall when our little 3-year-olds set off on their own for the first time to preschool. But it was one of those friendships that developed quickly and deeply, and it continued to grow and glow with possibilities of joint family vacations and the like in our future. Our children liked each other, even our husbands got along; and we lived close enough for spontaneous play dates, long walks and glasses of wine. She inspired me to be healthier and understood my neuroses. I think she added a few too.
While it’s sad to leave such a friend, it also gives me hope that friendships can develop deeply, quickly. It doesn’t always take years and years. Sometimes it just takes the right words, the right gestures, the right connections or even the wrong way of looking at things. I guess the ones that happen right and are meant to be are the ones that will last no matter where we live.