All the muppet arms everyone – today is Kim’s birthday! Huzzah!!! In honor of her day, and to maybe take her mind off the snow (possibly eight feet on the ground at my parents’ house by the weekend), I thought I’d list ten of my favorite adventures. Good god, this is going to be difficult to pare down…
1. The time she went with me to choose a wedding photographer (because the Ex couldn’t get time off to fly home on that wedding planning weekend), and it was rainy and gross and really early on a Sunday morning. And we were stuck behind this really slow delivery truck on this two-lane “highway” in rural Mass. We were complaining about this truck for a good half-hour. Then traffic must have moved over because we slowly made our way closer and all of a sudden I yelled, “IT’S THE CHOCOLATE CUPPA-CAKE TRUCK!” Seriously – a Hostess truck with pictures of giant chocolate cupcakes plastered along its sides. Only my favorite food in the whole world. I cannot comment on whether we single-handedly pulled the truck over and robbed it of its contents or not.
2. The time when I was in junior high (or maybe my freshman year of high school?) and Kim was in 4th or 5th grade. I was training her in the art of sneaky spyhood and so sent her downstairs from our bedroom to which we’d been banished so our parents could talk. Our parents never sent us to our rooms – in fact, my parents hardly ever talked, never mind together, on purpose – and so we needed to find out what we could. So I debriefed Kim that she was to go to the bathroom, grab a snack, and head back upstairs after listening in to all she could. Twenty minutes later, Kim walks back upstairs to the room, eating her snack. I asked her what she had learned and I got this blank stare. She had forgotten her mission. But: snack.
3. The first time she was in Tejas and we had a tornado warning. The Ex was at the groceria, about a mile away. I had called him on his cell because I knew he wouldn’t know about the warning. He told me he could beat the storm home. (Because of course he would.) I couldn’t talk him out of it, so I hung up and Kim and I got Toddler Gracie and Bee-baby into the master closet, where we hide during storms. Ten minutes later, the Ex opens the closet door and finds us sitting on the floor, singing Girl Scouts songs to keep Gracie occupied, and listening to the NOAA radio. He seriously looked at us like we had on foil hats or something. Maybe, possibly because the storm had passed, but whatever. We were scared, but having an awesome time.
4. Speaking of Girl Scouts songs, there was the time in college when Kim was… Well, I don’t remember exactly why she had been talking about llamas with someone. But she was under the impression that llamas lived in any mountains. Not just the South American kind. So somehow we started talking about what noise llamas make – none at all (shoosh, those who are going to bring up the groaning they do when they’re pissed). Eventually, somehow, a llama was added into the Girl Scout song we sang about “Ohhhhhh, an Austrian went traveling on a mountain so high…” Um. Do not ask why were singing Girl Scout songs.
5. That time she sent me a margarita glass full of flowers and listened patiently to me cry night after night when El Stupido left me for another woman, even though she thought our relationship wasn’t the best idea to begin with.
6. That time her Fairy Godmother status hit its pitch-perfect moment of glory when Gracie called her to announce her dad was getting remarried and how should she tell me? Everything worked out fine (spoiler alert!), but that moment right there showed me that the girls will be just fine navigating life’s tricky moments. If they don’t feel quite right talking to me or their dad or the stepmom about something, they know just who to call.
7. When she visited my college as a prospect and sat in on my Af-Am Lit class…and pretty much took over. My mentor’s reaction afterwards was pretty much “There are two of you?!” Priceless!
8. That time she was napping on our marshmallow couch at the apartment the Ex and I lived in before we built the house, and I took her picture (for that is what we do) and the moment the flash went off, her eyes popped open. (Honorable mention: every time she brings that story up to taunt me…)
9. When we started sending care packages to each other when she was in college. They were almost never fancy, just filled with random things we think the other would like. Small things, sentimental things. And always a card address to Richard (me) or Peter (her). Bonus points for all the confusion that caused when others saw the cards.
10. All the times we caught the giggles for no reason whatsoever, and then just. couldn’t. stop. There are people who just get you in this world. And she is one of mine.
Happy birthday, Kimberly Anna! I am so glad you are in this world!