I love to laugh. I probably love it more than I love coffee, which means I wouldn't just marry it, I'd have it's babies, nurse it through sickness and change it's diapers if need be. So, when I meet someone who can not only make me laugh, but cackle, snort and, on occasion, stop breathing...they're a friend for life...whether they like it or not.
I met one such person a couple of summers ago. The company I work for often hires employee's kids to help out with errands, copies, archiving, and filing during the summer. This was one such summer intern, and he showed up raring to go, except for the fact that he was still asleep. His dad woke him to introduce us. He grunted, wiped a bit of drool, and went back to sleep.
Over the next couple of months, I made it my personal mission to get more than a grunt out of this kid. Any time I saw him, I'd smile real big and say "hello"; he would just grunt as he stared at the floor and quickened his pace.
Time went by, he got hairier, and I kept greeting him in my own delightful way. Still, all I got was a grunt and a sprint. Then, one day, it happened! He came into the office I shared with another co-worker, they got to talking about the Yankees, and my increasingly hairy friend pretty much never left again.
Soon, I was feeding him. I mean, not physically "here comes the choo choo" feeding him, but I bought food for him. He took to stopping by our office whenever he had a chance to snack and chat and perch on my shoulder. At times, my co-worker had to offer to "hold him" so I could go to the potty...and I took to keeping a lint roller nearby to deal with all the shedding.
In the midst of the Yankees talk, pb&j sandwiches, and excess hair, my co-worker and I discovered that this kid was a vegetarian, extremely liberal, and very, very funny. We also discovered that he was an atheist, which added a whole 'nother dimension to my affection for him.
In the midst of all the laughter and our tendency to turn "jewish mother" on him, we also asked questions and shared our faith and just loved on him regardless of our differences, hoping that he would see the gospel in our care for him.
But we also laughed...a lot. I mean, I've had near death experiences laughing at this kid. I've snorted. I've shot coke zero through my nose. And, I've cried praying for his soul. I've also laughed alone in my car just thinking about some random and hysterical thing he said. I'd share, but I think most of what he says would fall under the category of "you had to be there". Like that time he walked into my office and said "Ms. Tina, I gotta go make pee pee."
I still crack up about that one.
Anyway, my little, hairy, atheist friend turns 20 tomorrow. (tear) They grow up so fast!
I am so thankful that he is part of my life, even if it is just at work and I can't adopt him and train him in the way he should go. I am thankful for the bright spot that he is to me at the office now that my Yankee-lovin' co-worker is gone. And, I am thankful for the opportunity I have to befriend, and care for and minister to him...and occasionally shoot coke zero out of my nose along the way.
So...happy birthday my friend.
I love ya!