As summer stretches into the dog days, my daughter and nephew stumble along, blissfully unaware that their lifelong easy-going closeness is about to go through some big changes. They have been close friends ever since he learned how to make her stop crying years ago when she was only about 3 months old. A wee boy of only about 5 himself, he would dance around, wearing all sorts of get-ups, and turn her tears into baby chuckles. They delighted in their absolute acceptance of each other. She's adored him in every way, admiring his wit, his brilliance, and his approach to life. He's loved her and protected her, giving her confidence and a feeling of safety. I'll never forget the first Halloween, when a dog came jumping up on a screen door, and he quickly stepped in front of her, clearly giving no thought to his own safety at 6 or 7 years of age. It's pretty much always been like that. She's been very fortunate to have men in her life who are true gentlemen.
I took this picture moments ago, as they were heading out the door for lunch somewhere. I was thinking about what lies ahead. He's heading off to study Astro Physics, and she's heading into her freshman year in high school. Through the ups and downs of their nuclear familie's respective lives, these two have remained steadfast in their friendship for one another. I wonder if they know how precious that is. Both of them are onlies, and I so hope that they always keep that attachment.
So as I watched them walk out the door, I thought about this carefree day for them. Studies, friends, adventures, jobs, and families lie ahead for both. For today, they will have idealistic conversation about the state of the universe, they'll talk about things that mean a lot, and things that have little meaning... and they will take for granted that easy knowing and acceptance of each other. May the years ahead always keep them in each other's heart.