She told me she was pregnant. I’m still not proud of how I responded:? jaw slightly open, staring across the room at her, a million thoughts running through my head.

One of them was, “I just lost my adventure partner”.

Happiness at Camp Tequila Mockingbird Happy Hour, Spring 2009

She had been my wing-man for the past several years. Both of us managing teams at jobs we cared about, meeting for food nerding, wine and journal time at Soif after a long day’s work. We planned trips together. My other friends called her my “wife-y” because I always checked in with her before making other plans.

That was all about to change.

I started putting her at an arms length, looking for new friends to hang out with and new activities to do. After a few months I noticed I was doing it, and screwed up the courage to talk with her about it. We’d decided to spontaneously grab an early dinner in Davenport and then take our chairs to the beach to knit and watch the sunset.? As the sky turned tangerine I took a deep breath and asked my big question. Did she plan to be my friend for the long haul – through thick and thin and all the changes to come? Yes, she said, she did. She wanted me to be part of her life. She wanted me to be part of this baby’s life.? We reached our hands out across the sand and held them for a long stretch, teary eyed.? I began to find my way back to her.

And we keep finding our way toward each other.? She honored me by asking me to support her birth. We adventured together again taking the 4 month old Bean to her second Strawberry Music Festival (the first was in utero). She shared that its likely Stella will tell me things she won’t tell her, and that will be hard for her but she’ll be glad it’ll be me her girl will talk to.? She makes time for dates when she can in between being an amazing mom and starting to develop her new career.? She is always there when I need a shoulder to cry on.? She and the Bean come downtown and spring me from the office for ice cream or a library visit on my afternoon break. And now that the Bean is getting older, I am beginning to enjoy the opportunity to spend more one on one time with her.

Last week while her folks attended a family CPR class she and I hung out for the morning. Sunny though it was she wanted to go on a walk with her polka dot umbrella. Our walk ended playing in the back of my VW camper van.? Caught between needing to feed her lunch and realizing extrication was impossible, I posed the idea of a picnic lunch in the van. It worked: we ran in and grabbed fingery foods and brought them back outside and ate on a flowery sarong spread out on the bed in the back.

After thirty minutes of exploring and emptying every cupboard in the back, she hopped in the drivers seat and grabbed the wheel.? She pointed to the stereo hopefully. I asked if she wanted music and she nodded “yup!”.? I popped in a CD and she smiled big, grooved on her buns a bit and worked the wheel while the sun streamed in all over her golden hair.? The world opened up to me then. My heart swelled and sang. I could see us in the future in exactly that set up, but with her limbed out, gorgeous, still flashing that devilish smile, driving us somewhere fun, chatting up mom who’s smiling in the back.

I realized after all my fear I hadn’t lost an adventure partner, but gained one.

She’s just in development.

“The truth is, friendship is every bit as sacred and eternal as marriage.”????? ~ Katherine Mansfield