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Bestie for Valentine's

It's February. That means that when there's a bajillion snow days, I make Valentine's with my kids. My 8 year old, second grader, like many, many other second graders is OBSESSED with slime. Perhaps there's some YouTube video with slime challenges or their attendance at a STEAM school encourages the practice of scientific inquiry to figure out what will happen when an activator is added to glue, but regardless of why, it is a common theme among the second grade to want to make slime.

Pink basket holding purple, red, and white valentine bottles of pink slime.
Slime Valentine's
Women should be tough, tender, laugh as much as possible and live long lives" by Maya Angelou

February not only brings Valentine's Day, but it also was my best friend's birthday. When I saw this quote this morning, "Women should be tough, tender, laugh as much as possible and live long lives" by Maya Angelou, I thought, Yeah, they should live long lives! But what if they can't? What if they get taken away because cancer attacked their body in their 30s? What if they can't continue to laugh with you and your people? What if they had to be way too tough?

Quote on a green background that says, "Women should be tough, tender, laugh as much as possible, and live long lives- Maya Angelou."
Maya Angelou Quote

As I reflected on this, I thought about all the laughing we've done together. Not only my "Bestie," but the other six-plus of us that spent weekends barbecuing, crafting the perfect sparkler bomb (similar to the way second graders obsess over slime), or laughing hysterically at my complete lack of musical knowledge with a room full of musicians. The games we played like Cards Against Humanity and Loaded Questions filled with laughter - up until our own children joined the space and suddenly our R-rated, bordering NC-17, nights turned to G-rated adventures.

So when I think about my #bestie and how much laughing I was able to do with her, I realize that even though she is not physically being crazy with the rest of us, she is our glue - still holding us together. And while, I can't send her this Valentine's Card, it is for one for the rest of us, as we ask ourselves, "Why wouldn't we be friends?" and invite more people into our #inclusive community.

front cover of a Valentine's Day Card that is pink with sparkles with the word "bestie" at the bottom in green cursive letters with a gemstone heart for the dot above the "i"
Valentine's Day Card

While I can't give this to my friend, taken way too soon by cancer, I am giving this card to my community, especially those who have lost someone special--and the six-plus of us laughing in honor of her.

Written for Jessica.

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