April 30, 2008

Friend 3: Xotchil

My Wednesday friend is Xotchil. I've known her for over 15 years, we went to the same middle school and really became friends in high school. Xotchil is shiny and bright, vibrant and artistic and self-sufficient.

In high school we had sleepovers, we ate Ben & Jerry's out of the containers and would walk from her Mom's house downtown to Cosmic Comics to peruse the newest arrivals. We played Magic the Gathering with each other, with her brother and his friends, and at some point during high school I of course developed the requisite crush-on-best-friends-brother. With X, I tried my first sip of alcohol (we snuck some of her father's Port and I promptly spit it out) and smoked pot for the first time. She's cute, she's beautiful, in high school with her pixie cut and red lipstick she looked like a young and pretty Liza Minelli. She died her hair with henna and wrote stories and drew amazing cartoons and pictures. Somewhere, there's a tape made at her 16th birthday party, and I'm pretty sure I was wearing some sort of tie dye.

In 2003 Xotchil helped me celebrate my marriage by being in my wedding, and the next year I did the same for her. She is an artist, always impressive and creative, and designed her own wedding dress. We both had calla lillies. For my birthday one year, she painted a painting for me that now hangs in my bedroom.

Another bit of happiness was added to the happiest day of my life when Xotchil found out she was pregnant the day I gave birth to my son. A couple of months later, I thought she was joking when she called after her big ultrasound and told me it was a boy.... AND a girl! A year and a half ago I cried as I drove 45 minutes to the hospital where Xotchil was in premature labor with her twins. By the time I got there, she'd been in the hospital for less than 1/2 a day and the twins had been born - 10 weeks early. She found out she was pregnant with them on my son's first birthday. I sat with her in the hospital. Today her twins are totally adorable, and you'd never even know they were preemies. Amazingly strong, she visited them in the hospital daily even when they couldn't be picked up. I admire her and her husband greatly for the strength they displayed, despite the fact that their hearts must have been healing from the brokenness that comes with seeing your tiny baby inside a plastic box with tubes and wires and very, very tiny hats and diapers.

I've actually been thinking about Xotchil a lot recently because I found out a couple of weeks ago that this weekend she and her family are moving to another state, and will be over six hours away. We don't see each other enough as it is, and suddenly the idea of her being so far away broke my heart a little bit. I will miss her, but hopefully I'll find the time and funds to be able to make the drive and visit at least a couple of times a year. Luckily, like me, Xotchil is a writer, and we have been able to successfully keep up with each other through our blogs, letter writing, and e-mails. I love being able to look back at the things we've written and what has been important in our lives since we met, and I am looking forward to many more years of laughs, leaning on each other, and watching our kids grow up together.

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