The most beautiful thing in the world happened this evening.
After I ended my call, I lean across the table,
"Erika says Happy Birthday, daddy."
"Erika's birthday?" My four year old baby sister asks.
"No, Jiejie Erika was saying Happy Birthday to daddy. Do you remember Jiejie Erika? The one with short hair?"
She takes a moment to consider this, and then looks up at me.
"Oh, your friend?"
"Mmmhmm, you remember her?"
She beams at me.
"Why do you love her?" She asks. I notice how her mom glances up to see how I'm reacting to this. I smile widely and let out a short laugh.
"Hmmm, becauseeee, she's a really nice person. Really nice."
She doesn't look at me like I'm wrong, or that it's different that we're not talking about a boy. In fact, she looks most interested and shifts between clutching the white tablecloth shyly and excitedly asking me questions.
"Are you going to marry her?"
And I laugh and say,
"Hmm, that's a really good question baby, but I don't really know yet. That depends."
I've never seen eyes like my baby sister's in relation to my relationship. Not because I've been getting frowned at, but because, whether or not people are accepting, we're all just fully aware of being in a world where we're a minority.
I've never had someone ask me if I'll marry my girlfriend, as if the entire world was alright with it.