There is family we are born into and then there is the family we get to choose. Family that are carefully hand-picked and matured over time, like a good bottle of wine. Friends that know us so intimately that it feels like we’ve known them for a lifetime.
Friends that call us and wake us up in the middle of the night because a song comes on that reminds them of you, and you don’t really mind even if they’ve had one to many and battling to string a sentence together. Friends that invite themselves on our romantic overseas holidays and we make some ‘once in a lifetime’ memories together. Friends who live thousands of miles away from us but when they set foot in Africa again we pick up like we had just left off yesterday. Friends who share much anticipated pregnancy announcements with you and you celebrate like it was your own. Friends that have watched us transform from an awkward grungy teenager to a 30 something corporate mom. Friends who ask us to be God Parents, Bridesmaids and Custodians. Friends that have seen us at our best and no doubt at our worst. They’ve cried with us, laughed with us and grown up with us. Yes we’re all a little greyer, a little wiser and honestly probably a little tainted but they’re the best kind of chosen family.
And then there are times some of us strike it lucky with the family we can’t choose. We are given a Sibling. The person who carries a bit of your childhood with them and often a ready-made friend the day they are born. My sister was my very first friend. The person we practiced with on how to be a true friend. Instead of saying “excuse me” we shoved each other out of the way and said “move!”. We would also laugh at any random moment and minutes later argue about the stupidest things. There were times, even though biologically we shared the same mother and father, it would appear we came from different families. But I wouldn’t trade her for the world.
Yes it is true that being siblings isn’t a recipe for a friend for life but neither is meeting someone in the playground and sharing lunch with them. It’s a constant give and take. Making an effort. Putting in time. And taking interest. It’s the same recipe that works for the family that was hand-picked and that wasn’t.
So thank you. Thank you for being the chosen and the unchosen.