To My Best Friend, On the Advent of Your Daughter Turning One
We've been through everything together and now, childbirth and rearing. I don't think either of us exactly knew that this was going to happen, even though we both carefully planned it, each in our own way. Mine was more like, OHMYGODI'MGOINGTODOTHISWTF?!?!?!! and you, as always, more organized and planned, were like, I'm going to wait until this particular bucket list thing is checked off and then yes, I think I will join you in motherhood. You, who always make sure I have everything I need when we leave the house. Just like when we lived together in university and you made sure I had my keys and ID before we went out for the night. You who has always taken care of everyone now has a little chicken nugget of your own.
It goes without saying that you are great mother. Your daughter is happy and so well cared for. As my mother noted, her whole face lights up when she smiles. She is you with your husband's cowlick. She and Aya will one day play like sisters, I know it. I know it because your daughter is her sister. Just from another mother.
I hope that they play together like we did, through thick and thin, through bossing and sh*tty times, and that time I swear you liked someone better than me for a month or two in like, 2001 (I'm not dwelling). I hope they give each other the cutest nicknames and go fishing with each other like that time at Charleston Lake when we may or may not have lost your brother (or was that the time we killed the fish on the rock - I can't remember). I hope they laugh together through tears and know that no matter how bad it is, they have each other. Just like we do.
We have talked about how you need a friend who knew you before you became what you are now because they keep you real, grounded in what has always been the fine textures of your life. Who knows your parents and don't buy your bullsh*t and who loves you unconditionally in that way that only best friends can. You need someone who feels your pain when you talk about the dark times and is one of the most happy for you during the good because they know how much you've wanted something, or wanted so badly for something to change. They love you even though they lived through puberty with you and, let's face it, that was just such a weird time. And hey - guess what!?! I hear puberty with daughters is a real blast so thanks in advance for being there for me when Aya wants her belly button pierced and I have a five glass a night wine "issue." I know you'll see me through because you always do.
I think baby's first birthdays are more - or should be more - about a celebration of mothers (and parents more generally) because they made it. They made through the infant hell, that first six weeks of paralyzing terror, the sleepless nights, the unrecognizable life, the partner transformation from husband to daddy and all the weird sh*t that happens to your body and your soul.
But you made it. You made it so hard.
I didn't bring you flowers or a special note but this is my tribute to you, Mama Bestie, because you work so hard, love so hard, and do the best for your baby. She's lucky.
And so am I.