Hello Internet! Remember back when we were on the trip and we'd write up birthday messages for the people whose birthdays we didn't get to celebrate because we were halfway around the world? Well we've stopped that feature since we've been home because we're, you know, HOME to actually celebrate people's birthdays. But there are some people in our lives who we think deserve to have their birthday blogged about, who we love so much that we just can't contain what we have to say about them.
Which brings me to the subject of this post. Our favorite Cris turned 30 last week and she was out of town and away from the internet (oh, the horror!). So I waited to post this until today, when I know she'll be at work and bored out of her mind. I actually wrote this post while we were gone, because when you're thousands of miles away from your friends and family, it's nice to write about them because they feel closer somehow. (For those of you out there whose birthdays have already passed who are wondering where YOUR birthday posts are, hang tight, I WILL get them to you, I promise.) But, without further ado, a birthday tribute to Cris:
Julie sent me some pictures of the little one today, and as I stared at the pictures of this beautiful baby girl in her little red hat, ready to be loved and adored by her family at Easter, it occurred to me just how much I miss that little one and her family. I only met little-C once, back when she was a wee little one-month-old, but those few moments spent holding her were perfect and precious. She looked like her father to me then, but today, looking at those pictures of her smiling in her red hat, I saw her mom's bright and pretty eyes smiling back at me, her mouth the same happy grin of Cris's. And it just about melted my heart.
I met Cris sometime early on in college. Our paths crossed and doubled back over each other through student life and Scotch n' Soda, winding its way over mutual friends and experiences. We really met through J, and for the first three years of our friendship we danced around each other, not entirely sure how we felt about each other, probably suspecting that we could be friends, but not entirely sure how to get there from here.
But all of that changed one week in March during our senior year. It was spring break and it was New Orleans, hot and muggy and drunk and antiquated, New Orleans. We literally ran into Cris and J and their merry gang of spring breakers on the street, and if you've ever been to New Orleans, you know what a surprise it is to run into someone you know. "Wait," you think to yourself, "YOU like this much debauchery too?!" And then you laugh and get a daiquiri and several hours later you've realized that duh, of COURSE you both like this much debauchery, and perhaps you should get married and have little debaucherous children together. And another daiquiri.
Cris's feet were badly sunburned, and when I say badly, I'm grossly underestimating the pain that she was in. AIR caused her pain, they were THAT sunburned. It hurt my feet to look at her feet. And yet there she was, walking around Bourbon street, drinking and laughing and having a good time. And all at once, somewhere between the time she and a few others went to watch a sex show, but before I showed my boobs off to a balcony of leering men, it occurred to me that Cris was one of the coolest women I'd met in a long, long time, and that if J continued to be an idiot about her, I'd have to beat him up.
Fast forward a few years and a few weddings and a few different cities and here we are. Over the years Cris has become someone who is a true-blue friend. Which is to say that she'd beat up anyone who had anything bad to say about me; she loves Matt fiercely and protectively (which I know because she almost always laughs at his jokes, even the truly terrible ones); and she silently suffers with worry about where we are in the world, following our itinerary to the letter, keenly aware of whether or not we're in harm's way.
In the past few months we've had a lot of time to think about our upcoming move to Boston. We keep saying over and over again that one of the best things about living in Boston will be that we'll have the chance to watch little-C grow up, that we'll get to be a part of her life almost from the very beginning. But we've also spent a lot of time talking about the fact that in addition to the little one, we'll get to watch her parents grow up too, that we get to be a part of their lives almost from the very beginning too. Because Cris came into my life at a time when I was still figuring out what it meant to be an adult, and while at the time it meant flashing a group full of strangers for a strand of shiny, plastic beads, it now means a lifetime full of wonderful meals, ordinary treasures, good jokes and bad jokes, and watching our families become grown-ups together.
Happy 30th birthday, Crissy. I promise that you're only as old as you feel. And if it makes any difference, there's a part of you that will always be just 21 to me.
lizzi and matt