I hope that you’re one of the lucky ones who has that person in their world. You know the one – the one who’s seen you at your worst, who knows all your secrets – especially those from the deep, dark days of adolescent angst. Yep, I’m talking about the one who can tell you that you to go back in the house and change because the dress makes you look like a skank and then laugh with you 20 years later when you both realize that most of your fashion choices were just plain wrong. That’s the person who will call you chicken shit because she knows you hate to be challenged but who will also tell people to leave you alone because she’s the one who gets that you need your space to sulk before putting on your big-girl panties. I have that person. She’s been around for far too many years to count so, instead, we drink wine and make dinners, look at each other every once in a while and know, “yeah – I got your back.”
Friendships are difficult for me. I suppose that sounds ridiculous considering how many people I am blessed to call, “friend.” It’s more accurate to say that deep friendships are difficult for me. For years I thought it was because I don’t like to be vulnerable, but I don’t buy that anymore. I’m vulnerable to anyone of the people I call “friend.” I think it has more to do with not knowing how to share all the pieces of me with a person in a way that they’ll “get” all the twists and turns, mazes and obstacle courses that make up the complicated chaos of who I am. But I have that person the one who I don’t need to explain myself to and she just gets it … and, could likely explain it to others in a way that I can’t.
Today is that person’s birthday. We love to celebrate birthdays around here, and this one is uber special … for Shortstack, Aunty Reech has been the constant source of rationale and sanity in his life, the one who spoils him in the ways that only another beach baby knows how; she’s the one who he can depend on to sit in the back seat of the car with him, talk about whatever they want to talk about and then ignore mama when she asks’s what’s being talked about. In fact, she often tells mama to mind her own business. For my wife, Reech is the person who can explain all the ridiculousness and mysteries of me and my life; she’s the one who my wife can laugh with because they are the ones who most intimately know my craziness in all its glory. For me, Reech is … sister, friend, confidante, shoulder, therapist, co-chef, partner-in-crime, cheerleader, inspiration, pain-in-the-ass, most-infuriating-adversary, moral compass … the word to wrap it all up doesn’t exist to my knowledge. I keep searching for it. Long ago I stopped referring to her as my “best friend” because that just isn’t enough; it doesn’t hold all that she is.
Another year has passed, my sister … and another birthday is here. The idea of a simple birthday wish does not convey that amount of love that we have for you (but that rocking birthday melody this morning was a pretty good start, don’t you think?). We want this day and this year to be bigger and greater and fuller (yes, I can and will make up my own grammatical rules!) than all the combined wishes of all the people who love and appreciate you could ever create.
Happy birthday, Reech – pass another year in the ways that pleases you most! And, while you’re at it, pass that bottle of wine as well … we have some celebrating to do!