So my best girlfriend – partner in crime – the other half to my high school “trouble making duo” had a baby when she was 19. Yup. And she was so strong and she chose to do it on her own – welllll….maybe with a tiny bit of help from her besty (because we did everything else together, why wouldn’t we raise a baby together, too!?)
I remember the day “H” was born. I was 17 and my mom helped me to check in to with hospital to see how my friend’s labor was progressing (we will call my besty “Patsy”.) The second I heard that baby “H” was born I hopped in my sweet Nissan and drove to the hospital to be with Patsy and to meet baby H. When I got there Patsy was alone in her room (still looking a little shell shocked – thanks to those great pain meds!) and she said “Do you want to see the baby?” I’m not sure that I got “yes!” out fast enough! I could not wait to meet this little being who was already a part of our partner-in-crime team from the time she was in her mommy’s belly! SO down the hall we went to the nursery where this tiny, little, perfect being was, in her tiny diaper, under a heating lamp to keep her warm and cozy. She was fantastically perfect. The nurse said “would you like to take her back to Patsy’s room? You will have to wheel the baby there since Patsy has had a few pain meds” (Side note: I swear we tell poor “H” this part of story each year on her birthday!) so off we go, down the hall with baby “H” in the little bread basket. This could not have been a better picture of teen pregnancy. Patsy’s room was at the very end of the hall, baby “H” had THE squeakiest wheel on her little bucket and – as we walked down the hall, I am not exaggerating when I tell you that it was a Hallmark commercial in each and every room with moms and dads holding their new, little beings, getting ready to go to their big (insert “rich American town” here) home, with their two car garage, health plans, and big, bright future. I’m pretty sure some of those babies were already accepted to Harvard on a full scholarship.
And there we were.
17 years old and 19 years old with this tiny little human who was counting on us not to screw things up for her. (And, by the way, we got that fear right out-of-the-way the second we got her in the room and realized that she had pooped! We couldn’t figure out HOW she had POOPED when she hadn’t even had anything to eat!? And where the heck were the diapers!?!? You see what this little one was up against?!)
Well – days and weeks went on. Pasty went back to work and back to college (kind of awesome, right?!) and I was lucky enough to get to take “H” a couple of days during the week. That summer, Patsy went to a church camp and I brought “H” up to Maine with me for the week. Which might sound crazy but it was such a special time for me to have this little girl in my world! Here is a picture of her, during the week she stayed with me and my family!
And another – she is just hanging out with the girls….
Yes, I realize that there is a MESS of wonderful patterns happening in this picture.
SO fast forward to the next year – I was living in NH, coaching some new, ass-kickin, ski racers and working in childcare when one day this 6 ft 3 inch (just to make him happy I will say that he was smokin’ hot! If I don’t say it – he will 😉 ) football player comes in and he is like the KID WHISPERER! I’m not sure I even introduced myself and I said “you have GOT to meet my friend!!” He was adorable and sweet and he loved kids! All win-win in my book (and let’s be serious – my friend was going to think he was delicious!)
Now – not to brag or anything, but he did, indeed, meet my friend and they JUST happened to get married – not to long after – and have three more amazing children. That was almost 20 years ago. And another fun-fact?! Baby “H” was born on my dad’s birthday and Patsy and Football-Kid Whisperers’ son was born on the same day, and year, as my niece. Am I convinced these people are in my world for a reason? I have not one single doubt.
Fast forward to now – I’m not sure where to even begin. The thought of it just brings tears to my eyes…they are not only MY friends but they are my husband’s friends, they are the first two people to know that I was pregnant with my baby (Patsy bought me the pregnancy test) they are two people who I learn from and try to emulate my parenting by – but, most importantly they are two of my daughters favorite people (although she gave Football Kid-Whisperer a run for his money with her shyness towards men. But now his picture is on our fridge and she says hi to “auntie Patsy and Football Kid-Whisperer” every morning!)
In just three words? They are family.
The whole reason I started this post tonight was because baby “H” just got married today. She met a man that she said “reminded her of HER dad” – Football-Kid Whisperer – the warm, funny, stronghearted man who raised her. We were not able to get out to California to see the ceremony but in Patsy’s fantastic way – she Skyped me so that I could still be a part of baby “H”‘s day – and we were able to laugh and cry and still celebrate another milestone together!
As I watched Football-Kid Whisperer say his speech and then take his daughter to the dance floor for their first father/daughter dance (yes, I am crying all over again just thinking about it) I saw that baby girl and I saw a man who loves her with all of his heart. He was still in college when he met baby “H”, still playing football, still surrounded by college kids and college party-fantastic-ness but he took this baby girl in 100% and, not only fell in love with her mother, but fell in fatherly love with her, as well.
Need a little father/daughter wedding day pull-at-your-heart strings? Here you go:
When I started this post I wasn’t sure who I was most proud of – Football-Kid Whisperer for the amazing dad he is, for baby “H” for the beautiful, strong women she has become, or for my besty “Patsy” for the strength and love and beauty that she has a hard time seeing in herself but for what I see every single day.
So I dedicate this post to one of my very favorite families – who I love and who am so grateful for each and every day. And – most importantly – I want to thank my friend, Patsy, who can still make me laugh the same way we did in the 8th grade.
And I will end with this – just for them:
OH MY GLOB!!!