The Family We Choose

Posted Jun 12 2012, 12:00 pm in , , , , , , , , , , ,

Friends are important to me. Really important. Every single book I’ve written has a strong female friendship in it. Hmm…I wonder where that comes from?
Seriously though, friends are the family we choose. And that’s pretty cool. You don’t get to choose the family you’re born into. Maybe they’re loving, supportive and fun. But…maybe they’re not.

But friends. This is where we have all the control.  We get to choose the people that we want to spend time with. Choose well and your life will be richer. Choose poorly and…well, maybe not so much.

I am so fortunate to have been surrounded by some incredible ladies that I’m proud to call my friends. Some of those ladies I’ve known a LONG time. There is one group in particular that I’ve known for decades. For lack of a better, much cooler name, I refer to them as my ‘high school friends’. But these girls are so much more than that. And really, I’ve known most of them longer than that. Kerry and I have been friends since we were about three when our mom’s formed a ‘play group’. Really I think this was a way to pawn off your kids on other mom’s once a week so they could have some peace, but whatever, it spawned at least one life long friendship. Alli and I met in Grade one and have been besties ever since, and the rest of the group came together mostly in Junior High when we were thirteen.

There’s something very special, and yes, a little scary about friends who’ve known you for so long. They know everything. Like, everything. The good, bad and the sometimes ugly less cute. And they still accept you were who you are.

We were there for the first kisses that melted our hearts, the subsequent break-ups that we thought would crush us; driving lessons, first cars, and first speeding tickets; sneaking out, getting caught, grounded for life; parties, camping excursions, trips around the world. And then later… babies, university, weddings, travel, careers, more babies and…


We’ve all grown into pretty awesome women. (I may be partial) And we’re all so different from one another, yet the friendship remains. We all have busy careers, most of us have families, and we’re all just crazy busy and I don’t get to see all of these ladies all that often. But when we do get together, it’s as if no time has passed. It’s easy. It’s fun. And every single time, I have a great time and wish I could see them more.

As a group, we try to make it a priority to all get together for dinner once a month to celebrate birthdays. A few weeks ago, we turned the birthday ‘dinner’ into an overnight ladies trip. So. Much. Fun. Our conversations have changed so much over the years that I’m sure our thirteen year old selves would be shocked. My stomach still hurts from all the laughs we shared and I can just imagine what we’ll be talking about in another ten years, or twenty…

The only picture you’re allowed to see…

Old friends know your past, your present and if you’re lucky…your future.

Thanks, ladies!

How about you? Have you had some of the same friends for decades?



14 responses to “The Family We Choose”

  1. AWWWW fabulous post Elena. Sounds wonderful and I couldn’t agree more. It’s nice to have those friendships that have lasted over the years. The friends that know it all and love you and support you through it all…
    I only have a couple gal pals like that having moved a few times growing up. But I do have gal pals that I met in college and university that have been there through it all and the friendships have only grown stronger and longer…and there’s nothing like getting us together for some conversation and laughs…
    They are the family you choose and I think that what makes each of them so darn special!

  2. Love, love, love this post! You and Patricia really make me wish I’d stayed in touch with my friends from high school! Well, kind of. I absolutely adore my friends I have now and of course, my cyber family. I loved reading about your besties ~ from the age of three? That’s so cool! My daughter and son have friends from that age and I hope they keep in touch over the years. It’s wonderful to have that connection with people who, like you said, have been through everything with you.

    • Elena Aitken says:

      Oh, Tameri, I hope your kids keep those friendships! I tell my kids all the time that I knew Auntie Alli when I was their age, and some of their friends now will be with them forever. They cannot wrap their heads around it. ha ha

  3. Wow – I can’t imagine having friends for that long. But I do have some that have been around for 30+ years. they’re a blessing in my life.

  4. You know how much I’m loving this post, Elena. These are the kind of friendships to be nurtured and treasured. I’m so happy you have them in your life. (Loved the caption on the photo that says it’s the only one we’re allowed to see … gotcha! We ladies do know how to party!)

  5. JM Randolph says:

    What a great post of friendship- you are blessed, indeed!

  6. bionicgma1 says:

    I think it is awesome that you gals still see each other whenever your busy lives permit. I can totally see you still getting together in 10, 20, 30 years.

  7. kim parshley says:

    What a beautiful story!
    I feel the exact same way..Both my parents passed away
    and my sister and I are always on again off again..
    My family are my friends..thank goodness for them.
    Otherwise, I would feel like an orphan.
    I created a wonderful free website called
    specifically for this reason. Check it out if you or someone you may know is
    missing the element of “family” in their lives…Best wishes to everyone!

  8. […] Elena Aitken’s post on friends (the family we choose). Psssttt…notice her new fahhhbulous blog design?!?! Be sure to tell her how lovely it […]

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