We wrote a prelude
to our own fairy tale…
–Hot Air Balloon, Owl City
Bridget would be quick to tell you we did not start out as friends, she and I. When our family was just the two of us and Mom and Dad, she made sure the world knew she did not intend to be pleasant about sharing her world with a baby sister. I retaliated by being stubborn and grouchy for the next, oh, eighteen years. We got off to a rocky start.
We did not start out as friends, but we have landed there. Bridget had a birthday yesterday, and Sunday when we gathered as a family, we celebrated the bookends of our family. Bridget is smart and loyal and beautiful. She spends a lot of time- lavishes it, really- on the people she loves. Especially the little people.
When I think about Bridget I think about a fierce belief that everyone should have someone to come alongside them if injustice is knocking at their door. And she will be that person if you have no one else, thank you very much. That’s why she makes a good lawyer. That’s also why it is not a good idea to argue with her.
Bridget loves books more than me, and she can make a mean, well anything-she-sets-her-mind-to, in the kitchen. Her taste in music is, er, different than mine. Her thoughts on Harry Potter match mine. She and I are not the funniest members of our family, but we know how to laugh at? with? the ones who are. Bridget is good at being a big sister.
In the last few years, as our conversations have turned to faith and what matters to us, Bridget and I have found common ground in asking questions around what it means to follow Jesus. Neither of us would say we have it figured out, but both of us would say we have benefited from talking things out. When we disagree, we are learning to do it more lovingly and with (hopefully) more grace.
When families are super-sized, someone could fall through the cracks, I suppose. That may happen occasionally in our family, but it does not happen habitually. Bridget is probably to blame for that. Not only does she somehow manage to be involved in all of our lives, but she’s incredibly adept at inviting others in as well. And that, I think, is amazing. (I could add an assortment of photos of representative faces here, but Amber, as the other half of the photography duo that is ours, gets the honor…)
The world is a better place with Bridget in it. And mine is exponentially better because the force of family relegated us to working it out and finding our way to not only loving but also quite liking each other, thank you very much. Happy birthday, Bridget. Hope this year is the best yet.