An emergency came up last evening and I had to bring home my friend's five children for a likely overnight stay. Eleven children aged 12 and under are extremely noisy. Of course, just to make things interesting, my husband and I took them all out to the local ice cream shop.
For once, nobody asked if they were all ours.
All was fine and my friend picked up three who were still awake when she got back late last night. As we were going to bed, my husband told me I was a good friend.
"I'm not doing anything I don't expect my friends to do for me...not that I've ever needed something like that...wait, I dumped our kids' at Rachel's house when I had a D&C...see, that's just how we are."
Just two nights before, I was running out to the all night grocery store to buy formula and a bottle for a breastfed baby whose mommy had to run his sister to the ER. Her husband is deployed, the friend watching her son (the same one with last night's emergency) has a deployed husband, and my husband was deploying when I had the D&C. This is just the nature of our lives right now.
We're more than friends. We're battle buddies.