When you're little, your parents (or at least mine) encourage you to make lots of friends--"you can never have too many friends"--to give everyone in your class a valentine, to share your toys, not to spit, don't stick crayons up your nose, etc. I tried to follow those rules growing up (though I still cringe at the sight of yellow crayolas). In fact, it is reported that upon leaving the playground one sunny day after preschool, I kissed each and every one of my classmates through the fence. (Next post: musings on promiscuity.)
We make friends in grade school, different ones in middle school and even more in high school. College brings a whole new set of friends. Law school, more. Some stay with you, some don't. Hopefully, though, we take a bit of every friendship with us, the good, the bad and the ugly. And we learn how to be better friends. More loyal. Accepting. And we nurture those friendships that make us more real and lessen the grip on those kinds of friends that might, say, steal your boyfriend or write notes about you behind your back. We learn that you can have too many friends, if they're not the right kind.
Infertility has been a two faced bitch, but it has shown me the beauty of friendship. My dear, dear friends have laughed with me, cried with me and called me the "brave girl." They've been poignantly thoughtful (a girl loves a bouquet of white roses on her transfer day, Anne thank you, it still makes me weep) and quietly accepting when I simply could not talk about it today, maybe tomorrow, call me Greta Garbo. They've been uplifting, encouraging, sensitive and, best, interested. (Who knew how much fun it could be to demonstrate the proper technique for delivering a trigger shot?) They've told me they have no idea how I feel, but they feel my loss for me.
So, today, I probably wouldn't kiss all my class mates through the fence (setting aside concerns about communicable diseases, lawsuits, etc.). And I wouldn't send valentines to every single person. But I would walk through coals for the ones I've got. I've chosen well.