Dear Caleb and Tracy,
In light of recent events (ahem…) I have been thinking about you guys a lot–about who you guys are in general and who you guys are in relation to me. So I decided to write it out (and publish it) and if I’m feeling extra sentimental, I may even read it aloud to you… (Enneagram 4 all the way!!)… but maybe not.
So here we go. Caleb first, because he is the man (eye roll).
Thank you for being a feminist. 🙂 Thank you for loving your wife the way you do, for supporting her, for standing behind/beside her, for encouraging her to be all that she can be and for believing that she can do anything. Thank you for allowing her to have a voice and equal weight in the relationship. Thank you for loving and investing in your children–spending quality time with them, taking them to work with you when schedules are crazy, etc. Thank you for not viewing ‘child-rearing’ as a woman thing.
In relation to me: thank you for being my friend. Thank you for not being scared of my single girl germs or raging hormones. Thank you for believing in me as a teacher, an academic, a colleague and as a missionary. Thank you for allowing me to be in your family, and as I see it, adopting me as a little sister. Thank you for not talking down to me and sympathizing with me as I relate the numerous accounts of when married white christian men do. (They’re the worst). Thank you for being an example of what a husband/dad/missionary can look like and despite of our cynical ways–you give me hope against my cynicism. Hope that ‘good’ men do, in fact, exist.
Wow. Um… where do I start. Thank you for being a strong woman (#tracystrong). Thank you for having an opinion and sharing it. Thank you for using your voice. Thank you for being a wife in an equal relationship –but not overpowering your husband. Thank you for not manipulating him, but for being honest with your needs, opinions, desires, etc. Thank you for the ways you love and honor Caleb. You do it so well and are so obviously proud of him. Thank you for being so in love with him without losing your identity and personality. Thank you for not finding your identity in your relationship with Caleb.
In regards to me: gosh… thank you for laughing with me and crying with me and listening to me and being angry with me and celebrating with me… thank you for not competing with me. Thank you for calling me out when I need to be called out and thank you for loving me through all my (many) emotions . Thank you for showing me that LOVE is not contingent on my being a certain way or performing perfectly. Thank you for trusting me to be friends with your husband… and for even, heaven forbid, being ok with me sitting alone with him in a car (gasp). Thank you for believing in me and encouraging me to be my best self. Thank you for pushing me when I want to quit or be lazy.
To both of you,
Thank you for letting me be in your family. Honestly, I don’t even think of you guys as friends anymore. If we need labels, I can say that you’re my best friends, but in my heart our relationship has surpassed that. In my heart you are my big sister and big brother.
Thank you for letting me love your children and be as present and involved with them as I get to be. They really are special kids and while I know they have LOTS of blood aunts and uncles… Auntie Samara loves them the most.
You guys are my role models. As cheesy and mushy as all this is… I look up to you. You set the bar exceedingly high when trying to find other friends… or looking for a spouse… but I am grateful for that high bar.
I truly believe that wherever I end up in the next five or ten years, I will be forever marked by these past four (plus) years in your family.
I love you guys a lot,