I am lucky in the way of best girlfriends. One’s a rebel-rouser, paving her way in the dirty south. One’s almost a doctor. One’s a culinary artist. One’s my sister. One’s married to my brother. One’s my mom. There’s the photographer. The childhood soulmate. The rediscovered old-time friend, picking up just where we left off. The fellow teachers that keep me sane. When I stop to think of it, I’m truly blessed in how many true lady friends I have.
But I have to tell you about my #1, tried and true gal pal. My niece, Miley Michelle.
Miley is my number one for several considerable reasons.
1. She’s always down for a good time. She’s so excited to go to the beach in two days that she shakes when she tells you, “Two more wakeups. Sandcastles. Shovels. Get yer baybing suit.” I can be dying on the couch, but she won’t let me sulk. She doesn’t care what kind of mood your in. “Hedder, let’s go. Let’s go watch a moobee. Let’s watcha show.”
2. She introduces me to new and exciting people. This weekend, I became acquainted with her daughter, an orange yarn-haired babydoll carefully named Crunchy. And when I asked Miley what her baby’s name was, she said “Crunchy” with the air that it was the most beautiful name in the universe — a rival to the likes of Arabella and Gwendolyn. And she promptly asked me to remove my son from his high chair so that Crunchy could finish his Cheerios.
3. She knows firmly what she wants out of life. And she’ll let you know. If offered a lunch of grilled cheese or fish sticks, Miley will tell you straight up that she wants pizza. If we’re headed to the grocery store, Miley will direct you to “Targit”. If there’s a song on the radio, she’ll tell you to turn it off, and she’ll sing what she wants to hear instead. I find her decisiveness inspiring when I often can’t come to a conclusion on my own.
4. She has impeccable style. She likes straw sun hats and ladybug sunglasses and red cowboy boots and Hello Kitty sandals. She layers well, pulling velvet dress up princess gowns over her jumper and strapping a tiara on her head. She has a purse that resembles mine, and when we are leaving to go out she’ll say, “Let’s git our blue purses.”
5. She likes to hold my hand in public.
6. She thinks Princess Aurora is the best Disney princess as well.
7. She’s the prettiest girl I know. When I’m with her I feel like we’re famous.
8. She loves to learn. Her favorite book is The Secret Garden in picturebook form she got with her chicken nuggets at Chik-fil-a. Ask, and she’ll show you how to color inside the lines. She remembers the steps she learned in dance class and will teach you. She misses preschool and imagines she’s there by strapping on her backpack, lining up her stuffed animals, and belting out the ABC’s to them.
9. She tells you the truth, even when it hurts. She doesn’t like when Carter uses the pink pacifier; “it’s for gills”. When she’s ready to climb into her mom’s bed for the night, she’ll tell you to go home. If you haven’t brushed them in a bit, she’ll tell you your “teeth stink”.
10. She gives the best hugs and kisses and squeezes and snuggle-snuggles.