Meow! I have some hazy memories of my life before you were my best friend, but not many. We became friends when I was 4 and you were 5 years old, and we haven't looked back. Now you're turning 30, and its time to say thank you.
1. Thank you for making me feel welcome.
Thank you for making me feel welcome in your life, in your home, in your family. Thank you for always making it seem like a good time to call, stop over, or join a family gathering. Thank you for crossing the divide of awkwardness and social boundaries to make me feel included.
2. Thank you for doing hard things.
It was you who called to tell me that your sister had died, and said it out loud for the first time. It was you who stepped between a spitting, irate racist and a young black woman while we were 1000 miles from home. It was you who moved away to be a teacher, and you who moved back to be with her family. Over and over you have done the hard things because they are right, and you are selfless.
3. Thank you for loving my cats.
Gumdrop and Walter needed special care and you were always there for them. Thank you.
4. And letting me love yours when mine were gone.
Ozzy and Loki filled the cat-sized holes left in my heart I am so grateful that you let me love them like they are mine. Even though we both know who buys their cat food and takes them to the vet. You are such an amazing fur-mom.
5. Thank you for being there when I was a work in progress.
Thank you for sticking by me through every year I couldn't decide what I wanted to be when I grew up, all the weird haircuts, and horrendous train wrecks of relationships. Thank you for sticking by me through every freak-out and doubt fest, and every big mistake I've made. Your unconditional love and friendship have made me stronger in every way.
6. Thank you for being there when I was at my best.
You have always been willing to celebrate with me. You don't pick me apart and ask diminishing questions. You help me see that my accomplishments are worthy of celebration. I hope to never miss an opportunity to celebrate you.
7. Thank you for telling me when my eyebrows were terrible.
You've always had all the eyebrows in this relationship, but you still let me know when I've gone too far. I've had tadpole eyebrows, painted on tattoo brows, and perfectly penciled, but like way too dark brows. You always keep it real.
8. Thank you for encouraging my creativity.
You were one of my first models for my art school portfolio, and you have always encouraged me to write and make art. Thank you for making me feel worthy of being read and seen. Self-doubt has killed many creative dreams, but not mine. Thank you.
9. Thank you for always putting things in perspective.
I've never left a conversation with you feeling worse than when it started. Your wisdom and perspective have helped me every day.
10. Thank you for reading my face.
You pick up the smallest, most nuanced details of my mood and expression. I feel heard and seen even when I can't express what I'm feeling with my words.
11. Thank you for playing dress up with me for 25 years.
When we spent hours in your parent's basement making dance routines dressed as fairies, flappers, and princesses, we created a life-long tradition. You are always willing to go all out for Halloween, theme parties, Disney-bounding, and shedding our Muggledom for a day. You're not shy and you have such great style! Thank you for that.
12. Thank you for always being honest with me.
Honesty is about so more than bad brows and ex-boyfriends. You have told me so many secrets. You have kept so many of mine. I can be completely transparent with you and tell you how I feel about everything. I know that you are always honest with me even when you think it might hurt my feelings. Thank you for always trusting me to be strong enough to share your feelings and thoughts.
13. Thank you for making my birthdays special.
You have given me so many special dinners, presents, and hand made art for my birthdays over the years. Thank you.
14. Thank you for being my foodie-friend.
You are one of my most favorite people to eat with.
15. Thank you for teaching me that normal is individual.
What is a normal relationship, body type, education, job, or friendship? I love you for teaching me that the Sun and the Moon both shine when it's their time.
16. Thank you for always calling me your best friend.
Thank you for always calling me your best friend, and reminding me that I am part of the family you chose.
17. Thank you for teaching me to love reading.
When we were little girls, you were the book worm. I was intimidated by big books like Harry Potter, but you encouraged me, lent me books, and held me accountable for reading them. I found a new world in reading, and it has absolutely changed the course of my life. Thank you.
18. Thank you for being so strong.
You are the wildflower refusing to be picked. You have taught me so much about what it means to be a strong person, and about forging your own path. Thank you.
19. Thank you for watching 3 billion hours of movies with me.
Thank you for putting up with all my mid-movie talking. You da real MVP.
20. Thank you for being my future maid of honor.
When this day comes it will be you. Enough said.
21. Thank you for not judging me.
And for lots of other things like that time I accidentally peed myself in your driveway, and when I made a pasta sandwich. Thank you for always letting me be me.
22. Thank you for finishing my sentences.
Because my thoughts come faster than my words but you are always on the same page.
23. Thank you for not caring that we are always mistaken for partners.
LeKo and MAC, forever. I don't care how it looks.
24. Thank you for having adventures with me.
As kids, we wandered into unfriendly, jungle yards and stayed out too late. We strayed way too many miles, way too close to curfew as teenagers. Now we venture through states, parks, beaches, and "worlds." Thank you.
25. Thank you for having the best sense of humor.
Laughing with you has been good medicine.
26. Thank you for being generous.
You are generous by nature. You are a giver, a hard worker, and you take care of the people you love.
27. Thank you for being so fair.
Thank you for your sense of justice, right and wrong, and fairness. The world is a harsh enough place. I can always trust that you will find the justest course of action, perspective, and be honest about it. For the record, the UNO rules do state that even if a player has a playable card, they can choose not to play it and choose from the pile in order to keep their opponent from winning. Your compass always points North and I love you for it.
28. Thank you for respecting the sanctity of alone time.
You are one of the most empathetic and emotionally intelligent people I have ever met. Because of that, I know you need alone time too.
29. Thank you for saying hello and goodbye to 29 with me.
Being a year and six months apart has always meant that you've given me an advantage over my next year, because I got to live it first with you. 29 is going to be a good year.
30. Thank you for being you.
I am grateful to be in this life with you, and I wouldn't have it any other way. Thank you for being who you are.