I’ve known my best friend, Catherine, for the better part of a decade. The first time we met, we hit it off so thoroughly and completely that everyone thought we’d been friends for years.
Now that we’ve actually been friends for years, I can’t imagine my life without Catherine in it.
If I tried to make a list of all the private jokes and joint obsessions we share, I’d easily end up using all the space left on the internet… but a few commonalities stand out from the fray:
Our shared love of singing, especially while driving
Our shared love of freshly brewed coffee, sipped on the deck on a Saturday morning
Our shared love of true crime shows, especially the kind Bill Kurtis used to narrate
Our shared love of the beach and the ocean
Our shared love of two layered tank tops, jeans, and flip flops as the ideal summer outfit
Our shared love of 31 flavors of eye shadow
Our shared love of a pristine home, cleaned from top to bottom
Our shared love of changing into “soft pants” immediately upon arriving home
Our shared love of slightly trashy (and quite trashy) pop music
Our shared love of hot wings
Our shared love of big earrings, big hair, big laughs, big personalities, and big dreams
Big dreams are something we’ve never run out of, whether we were pondering the husbands we’d have someday (both American, both incredibly kind and sweet, both handsome, both prone to forget to clean things), the homes we’d have someday (still in progress, though you can bet they’ll be filled with love), or the children we’d have someday.
You can’t really know how anything is going to turn out until it happens, even as you plan and pray.
And though the road to where we’re at in each of our lives has been filled with the (cheerfully) unexpected, I am beyond thrilled to say that we both have the exact families we’re meant to have now: me, as of October 22, 2011, when I became a very lucky stepmom, and she, as of 5:17 am, July 23, 2012.
This is Ariana Kate.
She’s perfect, naturally, as all babies are… although she is just a little more perfect than the rest of them.
I can see that she’s going to have an amazing head of hair, which is no surprise, given that both of her parents could donate half of their follicles to the poor and still have more than most people.
I bet she will sing beautifully in no time, like her mama.
I bet she will tell wonderful stories in no time, like her dad.
I bet she will laugh in no time, like both her parents do, given any opportunity.
And she will always — as she was before she was even conceived, when she was just a hope, and also while she grew from the size of a lima bean to her current fighting weight of a mighty 7 lbs and 3 oz — be loved completely, fiercely, joyfully, and happily by two of my favorite people on this planet.
Cath and Eric, you are going to be amazing at this. You already are.
Even when Eric has been up for 24 hours and accidentally puts a fresh diaper on a box of wet wipes, and when Catherine is trying not to zonk out while rocking her baby (and herself!) to sleep, you will be the best parents Ariana could hope for.
Auntie Meg LOVES you, Ariana, and she always will. Your Uncle Gradon loves you, too. In fact, everyone does.