When I was dating Christian and we were planing my trip to Hawaii (meet the family trip) he started talking about Mariko. Christian really stressed that Mariko said that she had to approve of his future wife. He said "Yeah, I think she'll like you, but...yeah, it's kind of important if she really likes you." Let me just say that I was REALLY nervous when I met her, much more than meeting the family.
A year after living in Hawaii I should have remembered my initial desire to impress Mariko, it would have saved her a lot of time hearing me complain about things. But, I'm really glad I had someone to complain to. Someone who also didn't have a baby who slept through the night, someone who was always sympathetic when I was beyond tiered, someone who really helped my sanity. Mariko has been much more like family than a just a friend. I am so glad Christian was concerned about her opinion and I am so glad she is so much a part of our life.
She is the most generous person I know, not just with gifts but also with her time. She not only taught me how to drive IN HER CAR, but also watched both Enzo and Amaya at the DMV while I took both the written and the practice test. She never complained about driving me places and was always willing to pick things up for me at COTSCO. See, you might think that's not a big thing but it's huge when you have a kid and all you want to do is leave the store as quickly as possible.
However, my favorite thing about Mariko is that she is a total food lover. She makes delicious food and appreciates delicious food. By the way, thanks for going out to eat with me so many times. In fact I bet there is some good food happening tonight in honor of her birthday. I hope she has a wonderful day celebrating her cool life as a mom, wife, teacher, daughter, and friend!
I love you more than getting the sugar on my Flan to not burn, more than fried manioc, more than acai.
happy birthday my sweet friend!