This weekend I took Grant to Philadelphia for his annual Birthday weekend. We went to UPenn basketball games, drank good beer, ate (lots) of good food, went to a wonderful urban PCA church, walked around the Italian Market and Reading Terminal, and finished up with tater tots at Tattoo Mom's. It was a little different this year with Purslane, but she sat very contentedly in her BabyHawk and watched Philly go by.
I always love this weekend because Grant waxes nostalgic about his college days. Just like he is loyal to everything he cares deeply about, he is staunchly loyal to his Penn Quakers. He forgives bad seasons, holds out hope for last minute victories, and always walks into the Palestra a happy man. This year he held his daughter up to the railing and explained who the best players this season were. Could my heart get any fuller?!?
Along with our child, we were joined in Philadelphia by some of our dearest friends in the universe. Margo and Kyle Stedman- whose marriage I hold up as one of the rarest successes in this life. They are deeply in love, the best of friends, and love nothing more then opening their arms and bringing the world close. Kyle is the best kind of nerd- he is crazy smart but also in the habit of saying things like "do you think Pursy understands the concept of time travel better then we do?". Margo is the epitome of mercy ministry. She has a knack for knowing a person's needs before they do, and she is already in her car ready to make it happen. My new favorite fact about her is that she has a Mission Statement... for herself.. and her mantra is "keep it classy". Jonathan Block and his new bride Liz flew in from St Louis to celebrate Grant's birthday as well. This is the first time I had met her, and she exceeded all my expectations for who my dear friend Jonathan would marry. When you can have a simple and direct conversation with a person you just met the day before on a 70's wool couch at a vintage store on South Street- she will fit in just fine. My favorite thing about her this weekend was her talking about her grey high heel open toe boots- "I don't really like these, but they make me look like I know what I am doing". And Jonathan was his sincere, head back-mouth wide open laughing self. He was the typical doting Uncle and Pursy enjoyed being fed Cheerios by hand rather then having to do the work herself.
These people are the Salt of the Earth. They are the rarest kind of friends- the ones who don't let you get away with being false and would rather take you crabby and mean, then insincere. They let you have bad days, because they know you aren't always like that. Jonathan and Liz had a fight over the weekend, and no one pretended like it didn't happen- we talked about it, tried to offer support and advice- and in the end I hope Liz knew that no one wants their marriage to work out more then we do. Welcome to the crazy, Tiger Block.