Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Friendsday #1

If you got here somehow other than through Facebook, I'm starting a series of posts about people in my life who make my life better.  I want to take the time to thank them because it's just a great way to live.

Danielle and I met in the nursing room at Babies R Us a few weeks after each of us gave birth for the first time.  Sitting in adjacent rocking chairs and talking quietly over the sounds of our noisy little piggies, we learned that our boys, W and C, were just a few weeks apart in age.  I don’t know who suggested exchanging phone numbers, but we did, and about a month later, we organized a play group with some moms around the same stage as us.

Over the next couple of years, we met for play dates, attended birthday parties, and swapped tired mom stories.  One year when my husband was deployed, she invited us to join them for trick-or-treating, acutely aware of what it’s like to celebrate fun times without a spouse, as her husband is also in the Air Force.

Danielle’s husband was transferred, and eventually we moved, too, and we live 3,000 miles away from each other, yet through Facebook, I’m able to watch her live—now a mom of three boys who recently made it through a year-long deployment.  One of the things I love most about Danielle is her campaign to end “Fakebooking,” the way some people use social media to highlight mountaintop living without acknowledging the valleys of their lives.  She’s a proud mama and wife, who isn’t afraid of celebrating successes, but she also posts pictures of her destroyed play room after a day when she just doesn’t feel like cleaning.  Aside from her work as a mom and military spouse, she is one of the most talented photographers I know.  In an age of momography, Instagram, and selfies, she uses her camera the way Michelangelo used paint.  She’s a true artist.

In the eight years that I’ve known Danielle, she has taught me the importance of being authentic, the blessing that hospitality can be in other people’s lives, and the necessity and satisfaction involved in pursuing creative inspiration.

So, thank you, Danielle, for who you are to me.  I love you, and I’m sorry that this is the first time I’ve ever said it.

If you’re in or anywhere near South Carolina, do yourself a favor and book Danielle for a photo session.  If life (or the Air Force) ever brings us back to one another, it will be priority number one for me.

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