I didn’t think dropping Bubbe off at your son’s 10th birthday sleepover would leave me verklempt.
After the gaggle of celebratory tweens scurried off to play Nerf Gun combat, you encouraged me to stay for our customary cocktail and chit chat. Happy to oblige and assist in the effort, I carried the wasabi peas and pita chips to the back patio table to find a chilled prosecco flanked by the birthday root beer waiting patiently for our arrival.
It was then I spied the set of chaise lounges nestled in the corner.
I took one look at those chairs and flashbacked to my Bubbe, your son, and their rolls of baby deliciousness that used to sit there side by side munching Goldfish. I thought about our boys being born 10 days apart. I thought about how this past summer marked their 10th year of friendship. Too embarrassed to share the sentiment, I fanned my tears with a chip and blamed the reaction on the peas.
I regained composure and got on with the festivities. We poured the bubbly and toasted to our sons’ double digit birthdays. But in my stir of emotion, I forgot to toast something equally as important; our 10 years of friendship.
We had our first date at The Newcomers Club Mommy and Me. I showed up as a nonmember. You came late. The other attendees likely took note.
A frumpy, post partum version of myself watched from the sofa as you and your bouncing boy, each decked in blue worked the room; two blonde rays of sunshine to whom the mommies were instantly drawn.
When the crowd weaned, you parked on the rug near my feet and a sleeping Bubbe.
Any hormonal blah and sleep deprivation you may have been feeling was eclipsed by a genuine excitement to be out of the house and in the presence of empathetic adults. Your warm introduction disintegrated my walls and quelled new mommy insecurities.
I thought, E is positive, easy, and kind and I hoped we would be friends.
The Newcomers eventually dispersed but fortunately we did not. Your friendship has remained constant even when separation seemed probable.
When our boys reached the point we had to shelve play dates because they butted heads, we made sure not to suspend our own.
When I had my second child, you came to the hospital with sea salt brownies for me and open arms for Skootch even though our mom of an only child dynamic had changed.
When we moved in the dead of winter, you trekked to visit our new place before I unpacked a box despite the added drive.
When, six years ago, you started a business while simultaneously chasing your dream job, you took the time to encourage and help me pursue my passion even after you landed it and went back to work full time.
It only takes a glance at my Wonder Woman Lego key chain, Believe Giving Key necklace, or 40th birthday golden clutch you knew I always wanted to remind me of your thoughtfulness, generosity, integrity, determination, creativity, and faithfulness. The qualities you possess that I so admire; the ones you have instilled in your son.
An unexpected and welcomed by product of becoming Bubbe’s mom was finding you. And so, on our aluminum anniversary I raise my glass.
Thank you for being the real deal.