A couple of the most interesting things that happened at my birthday party involved my friends Addie and Dustin Wescott.
Addie is a birth doula and photographer in Milwaukee. She read a Rumi poem at my wedding. She was our birth doula for Jonah, even though my wife’s precipitous delivery made it impossible for Addie to get to Green Bay on time. She did a marvelous job with his newborn photos.
Dustin is an electrical engineer working in renewable energy. He has worked on wind energy projects all over North America.
Both Addie and Dustin come from parents who practice Reiki. They also practice this art and gave Lindsay and me a full treatment the night before our wedding
The Wescotts made a four-hour round trip to be at the party, and they brought along another one of our best friends, Kristin.
Dustin picked up a couple large bottles of his favorite beer, Sprecher Czar Brew, to share with me for my birthday. He remembered that I used to love dark beer. I never gave him the memo that I quit the drink. Instead of being a total hard-ass, I told him I’d be glad to try a sip. It tasted good, and reminded me of an aged balsamic vinegar, which to me is like candy. But, I didn’t quit beer because I hated the taste. I didn’t quit steak or seafood because of the taste either.
The decision I made came down to what kind of a drug-free dad I want to be. I think I take the Buddhist approach to gifts. If someone makes me food with dairy or eggs, I accept it with a grateful heart. Would I love to be vegan? Yes! Do I know how to do that gluten-free with odd food allergen flare ups? No! So, why would I expect my family and loved ones to rack their brains to make me food?
So, hearkening back to my very first post on this site about being drug-free, but not wanting to be a Dick About It (MOTO), I took my sip, which amounted to less than a Communion sized cup. I didn’t get buzzed or anything like that, but I did experience an immediate allergic reaction. My face started burning and my ears started itching. So, even if I wanted to jump back on the beer bandwagon, I’d be sending myself on a path toward anaphylactic shock.
Apologies to Dustin and any friends in the future who show up with alcohol as a gift. I really do appreciate the thought. It’s just not something I can do anymore.
Addie, on the other hand, showed up with something to eat. Something gluten free. Something raw. Something vegan. Something PERFECT. Three unbelievably delectable chocolate tarts. Or tortes. I’m not sure I know the difference. If Dustin and Addie ever want to move in, the offer is always open. We’ll build some wind turbines and eat healthy, delicious, Earth-friendly food.
These were but two of the fantastic people who showed up and reminded me that I am blessed with true friends. I’ll end this with one of my favorite H2O songs.