As your mom I dream for a lot of things for your future. I hope you are generous, and passionate, and kind to those that others are not. I hope you ask questions, and belly laugh, and let your heart guide the way. Most of these things come from inside of you, and your dad and I will do everything we can to help make those things shine. But there is one thing that I wish for you that I cannot teach you and does not come from inside of your own heart.
I hope that you are lucky enough some day to have a friend like I have; a friend like Kate.
A friend like Kate is someone that can make a three hour drive home from college fill like 20 minutes (when you can't wait to get home) or feel like 3 days (when you need time to talk). When everyone around you looks at your life and says, "You're so lucky," a friend like Kate knows how its more than luck. A friend like Kate cuts right to your heart and says, "I know you dream of many versions of life for yourself, but whichever you choose will be the right one." A friend like Kate says things often that make you think, "finally; someone gets me." A friend like Kate suggests interesting books to help you learn more about yourself and funny movies when you need to just laugh and relax. And when you feel like no one cares about the things that you do, a friend like Kate tells you about the organization she works with that helps grieving families. A friend like Kate is what people call "kindred spirits."
A friend like Kate finds ways to help in just the way you need it; sometimes she gives you a place to stay when you're in the in between and other times she shows up just when your car breaks down and you need to haul suitcases, and sisters, and babies around the city. Sometimes she says things like, "Bring your dog over too," even though her husband is allergic, and she doesn't have pets of her own, and its probably one of the worst ideas in the history of humanity; she says it because she wants to help make things easier. A friend like Kate never says things like, "I feel sorry for you" or "I know how hard this must be for you," because she knows you don't need reminded how hard things are for you. Instead, a friend like Kate makes plans and playdates and sleepovers and lists called "Things we need to do before the summer is over." A friend like Kate helps get you through the hard times by sprinkling happiness in your life.
A friend like Kate loves you for exactly who you are today. And loves whoever it is that you decide to be tomorrow just the same. A friend like Kate is a cheerleader for your life even if your life choices are different from hers. A friend like Kate is family without having to be family.
A friend like Kate is someone I hope you are lucky enough to find someday. Because a friend like Kate makes it easier to be exactly who you are.
ps. thank you to my friend named Kate for always making it easier to be exactly who I am.