Astrid throws her arms around me and says so loudly ‘you’re my best friend!’ And I giggle and melt into her hug and say ‘yeah, you’re mine too.’
She then makes sure our foreheads remain touching as she tells me that she really wants me to be at her birthday party this year.
As if there would be something more important going on in my life on July 23rd? As if.
Sometimes it’s overwhelming how much she needs me at this age. Not just the physical things – the running, the climbing, the potty training, the ‘me do its!’, the food battles.
It’s the emotional stuff that gets me. How now she goes off on her own a little but always comes back for the reassurance of my arms. How she looks for extra kisses. How her hugs are not just with her arms…but koala style with her legs around me too.
I feel like the sun sometimes as she circles around me never going out of her narrow orbit. How my gravitational pull is what keeps her safe and steady. She’s my Venus. She’s close. Someday very soon she’ll be my Neptune.
And it’s fitting that I’m her best friend right now. This time before she will be away at school. She’s at home full-time. Her other option is the cat and the cat doesn’t listen as well as I do. Nor push her in a swing.
I admit that she’s my best friend too. Together almost 24×7 there is certainly no one I talk to more. There is no one else whose hand I hold so often. We cry and laugh together.
She will know I am weak and not perfect like she must think about her biggest protector. But I’m there. I’m there for her hugs and I’ll be there at her parties. I’ll be there for the bad stuff and good stuff.
Because for now we are best friends.