Back in the day, the three musketeers were inseparable. My cousin Melanie, my brother and I. All separated by one year, all birthdays in December. The unified front against our cousins in Monessen. While Mel lived about 40 minutes away (in a slightly more upscale neighborhood), we always managed to spend a ridiculous amount of time together. Summers were especially awesome. We lived in a very rural area where the days were very long and filled with fun times. Our yard was huge as our grandparents lived right next door. (Great for escaping the house, terrible for sneaking out or sneaking people in.) They had a dog that was as big as a house, and being the Sagittarius that I am, I had a bond with that dog like no other. They tell me that I used to ride around on her back like she was a horse.
I recall one early Saturday afternoon in particular. I knew that Mel was coming to the house and I couldn't wait. I had friends around the house, but then, family was way more important. (Unfortunately, the musketeers, or at least one of them, went their separate ways and forgot how important family was and is.) I waited oh so impatiently to see my aunt's car come down our street.
Finally! They're here!
I ran out of our house like the proverbial bat out of hell. Full speed ahead down through our yard and into my grandparents yard. I was cute, I was graceful, I was small, and I was muscular. I was excited. I was covered in dog shit on my entire right side because in my haste, I didn't notice that the dog had dropped a bomb in my path. I was running full speed and planted a foot directly in poop and then tried to turn a corner. I was a running back on wet turf, tackled by number 2, Doo Doo Brown.
And this, this is the beautiful thing about family. There was no embarrassment. There was no mean laughing. We all laughed together as badly as I smelled. I took a shower, changed clothes, and play resumed like it never even happened. I guess that's how you know someone is family. They still love you no matter how much shit you're in. 🙂