Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Family friends

A week from Sunday, Guy and I will have our son baptized.

My mother, who is a Presbyterian minister, will stand up in front of our church and baptize her newest grandson. I prayed a long time that she would be able to do this.

I don't have a lot of family really. The relatives that we went to visit in Georgia over Easter don't travel. I invited the cousin who is my age to come up and see us, and he proclaimed that he doesn't go north of the South Carolina border.

My daddy's brother is not too far away, but we aren't close, and I don't think he would come.

My brother and his family require two minivans and a vacation notice from God himself to get to go anywhere. Apparently, if he leaves town, the church where he works will most certainly fall completely apart. The committee structure will crumble, members will flee to the nearest Pentecostal gathering, and the church building will fall into a sinkhole that leads straight to hell.

Seriously. They won't let him ever leave. Their real pastor is a lazy pansyass, but that's a whole other story.

Guy's dad lives here. Papa, we call him. He is around just enough. Surprisingly, sometimes he isn't around as often as we would like. But, he's got his own life going on, and we are happy about that.

Guy's mom is no longer alive. He has an aunt with whom he is close, but she lives in Florida. I haven't even met her in person yet, only talked on the phone with her.

That's it. The extent of our extended family.

And that isn't enough to celebrate with us. Not in my book.

So I decided that our extended family would extend just a little farther for Bird's baptism. Not too far, just six friends who mean the world to me.

There are friends who are more like family than most of your extended family.

Those people who have answered the phone at 7:00 in the morning and listened to your hysterical cries of how your dog just got run over by a car and would you please meet me at the vet? And they did.

Those people who have told it to you straight when you needed to get your head out of your own ass and be a better friend. And hopefully I did.

Those people who stood up for you at your wedding. Or weddings.

Those people who have given you opportunities to become more than you thought possible. Who believed in your abilities and told you to go for it. And when you did? They were the first ones congratulating you on the other side.

Those people who have continued to love you through all the changes that have occurred.

These are the people who will be with us on Father's Day to baptize our son.

These are the people who will join us for a good ole traditional Southern luncheon afterwards complete with chicken salad, homemade biscuits, and Mrs. Gerber's sweet tea.

I don't make that tea for just anyone, you know.