“Friendship arises out of mere companionship when two or more of the companions discover that they have in common some insight or interest or even taste which the others do not share and which, till that moment, each believed to be his own unique treasure (or burden).” -C.S. Lewis
Trystan was born with a best friend. Her name is Kayla, and she was born 3 months before he was. Kayla is Ben and Sheri’s daughter. When Trystan was about 6 months old, he was laying on a picnic blanket in the park with Kayla. She kissed him on the face until he cried. Once, Trystan stayed at Kayla’s while Mommy and Daddy went on a date. That night, Kayla spent the night at Trystan’s then went to the beach the next day. Trystan and Kayla’s first kiss was at Disneyland when they were 1 years old. When Kayla’s parents don’t feel like cooking dinner, they come over to our house. We order pizza and put on a movie. There are so many memories of their friendship. And yes, we have tons of video footage. After about 4 months in New York, we get a very special phone call from Auntie Sheri telling us that they are coming over to visit us for a week.
We had a small apartment in the Lower East Side, just down the street from the Tenement Museum, where you could read about the families of immigrants who stayed in the tenements. That week, we were able to experience first hand what it was like to live with 8 people in a 1 bedroom, Lower East Side tenement apartment. Shelly, Trystan, Zoey and I slept in our bedroom, while Ben, Sheri, Kayla and Emmitt slept in the living room. We learned a lot more about parenting in that week. One important one for me was that you can put the syrup into the pancakes before cooking it. Yummy, mini-pancakes for everyone! The best part of which was no sticky mess to clean up.
The weather was rotten. It was forecasted to rain for most of the week so Kayla packed her galoshes and raincoat. We went shopping for rain gear for Trystan and he scored a matching galoshes and raincoat set from the M&M store. Little did we know how much fun we’d be having with their rain gear, taking outings to the park specifically to go puddle jumping.
After a week of fun and the most comfortable crampness, Ben, Sheri, Kayla and Emmitt climbed into their ride to the airport. Trystan held it together, but I could see in his face that he was troubled. He watched the black SUV move down the street with Kayla in it, then after a moment, he started running down the sidewalk after it. He didn’t stop running until the SUV got to the end of the block and turned, at which point, his shoulders sank, he tucked his chin into his chest and he turned around to face me. Yet he still didn’t cry. I picked him up and silently walked to our building and carried him up the stairs to our apartment. I wanted him to feel. I wanted him to be immersed in his emotion. We walked into our small, now empty living room. It seemed a lot bigger than when we first moved in. Bigger and emptier. Then he cried.