Last night, in honor of Christopher’s Monday morning departure we had a small get-together with a few friends, lit a fire in our outdoor fireplace and hung out and visited for a while.

The beer, wine, and liquor flowed pretty easily as did the conversation and laughter.  Chris leaned over sometime in the night and whispered a “thank you” to me.  He said he had a great time, in spite of the fact that neither he nor Howard got a moose, and that he was enjoying the party because it was more intimate.

Sometime around 3am, I was tuckered out, I told everyone goodnight and made my exit.  Our friends know, when I’m done, I’m done.  No one takes offense, no one judges me and considers me a bad host.  Our friends also know that if they want to just hang out even after we’ve made an exit, they are welcome to.

Of course that means Howard is always the consumate host and is always the last person to turn in.  When I went to bed, everyone was still talking, having a good time, and the beers were still flowing pretty well.  I fell asleep to murmurs of conversation and the faint smell of burning wood from the fireplace.

Sometime around 9am, I awoke and still heard people talking.  I couldn’t believe it when I got up and saw that Howard and his brother were still up, awake, and still putting wood on the fire.  Of course, I say that I couldn’t believe it when in reality, I absolutely could.

Howard and his brothers grew up extremely close.  They moved around a lot due to his father’s job and always had to rely on each other for friendship.  I’ve always envied and admired their closeness.  It’s a running joke that the women who married or will marry these men will have to accept “coming in second” to her husband’s brothers.  Some people would take offense to that.  I try to embrace it.  I know in reality, that Howard is always going to do what’s best for our marriage.  He’d never make me feel like I’m “coming in second.”

But a part of me is proud to have a husband who is so close with his siblings.

This morning as I walked outside and they both seemed a little embarassed and just KNEW I was going to be pissed off that they were still up, all I could do was smile and tell them to enjoy themselves.  They went back to stoking the fire and talking.  They even cleaned up the beer cans and tidied up.

By 11:30am, I knew I’d have to put them to bed because they’d be exhausted and would likely sleep Christopher’s last day away if they didn’t get some rest.

I fried bacon, made soft scrambled, buttery eggs, biscuits and gravy and called them in to eat.  After they filled their bellies, they started to nod off on the couch and I coaxed each of them to their rooms and they’ve been snoring ever since.

I guess some women would be aggravated but as I was cooking, I kept looking out at them through the kitchen window, watching them put their arms around each other, laughing, dancing, hearing them sing to the music on the iPod, and talk animatedly to each other, I was grateful to God for giving me a sister.

Know one knows us better than our siblings, given they are raised in the same household.  When no one else has our back, we know that when the chips are down, we always always have a best friend.

I’m glad I didn’t ruin their good time by nagging and yelling at them for staying up so late.

I’m so glad Howard wasn’t born an only child and I know that Christopher will take away wonderful memories of his trip.

Albeit with a little sleep deprivation and a hangover. :-)

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