A Best Friend’s Love Note

January 23rd, 2008

Any minute now a little girl, who will be named Ada, will be born to my oldest and dearest friend. Christie was due yesterday and the little booger is just not in any kind of hurry to come meet all of us. As long as I live I won’t forget the moment Christie called to tell me she was going to have a baby. Immediately I was filled with that now all-too-familiar half thrilled/half jealous. I’ve talked about it before, but Shelton’s brother has had a baby, cousins, friends, co-workers- the entire spectrum. No other pregnant person has ever been closer to me than Christie- it feels very much as if my own sister is about to deliver- because she is.

Christie and I met in 9th grade, when we were 14. I’d just transfered in to a new school. I had a hideous haircut, started wearing a bra and makeup, new school my first day of junior high and no friends. Christie and another girl were in my science class, which preceded lunch each day. I remember carefully sitting “near” them at lunch each day- not too close as to impose, but close enough to let them know that I thought we could be pals. We eventually started talking and they admitted to calling me “Shadow” because I was always kind of lurking around them. My persistence paid off and soon the bad haircut grew out and we were damn near inseparable- on and off campus.

The end of that school year her family moved out of state. My world shattered. I’d never known a friend like this. I often think of the Shania Twain song that says “Looks like we made it, we beat the odds together, I’m glad we didn’t listen.” Our parents all told us that we’d likely keep in touch through that summer, but then new school years would start, new friends would be made and one day we’d be nothing more than a box of pictures and funny notes passed between classes.

But we made it. We beat the odds. I’m SO GLAD we didn’t listen. Christie has touched my life in ways I cannot count- and I hate to even imagine what I’d do without her the past 12 or 13 years. At this point, who’s counting? We’ve literally seen it all together- first kisses, first heartbreak, new schools, drivers licenses, high school and college graduations, death of family members, falling in love, marriage, spring break trips, and the list of course goes on. We’ve laughed and cried more together than we have with probably any other single person.  So when I say that I feel like my sister is having a baby- I’m not exaggerating.

During the past nine months, I’ve stood on the sidelines watching her grow a little more and slowly start adapting to becoming a mother. I went to see her in Dallas in November for a shower that I’ve never been more excited to throw. We stayed up so late that night and sorted through every single onesie, sock, blanket, storybook and ruffle. And then stood inside that precious little nursery and laughed at ourselves. How did we- Brandi and Christie- get here? We’re not old enough for this. I talk to her often on the phone and try to encourage her and tell her that, while she thinks “this baby is never coming out,” it is a scientific fact that she will exit. I keep encouraging her to eat Mexican food, do jumping jacks, and as I read on one site- stimulate her nipples to induce labor. That’s what friends do- at least the bestest of friends.

I’ve caught myself spontaneously crying over the last few weeks as I try to imagine the scene when I walk into her home and see Christie, my goofy friend from junior high, sitting there with her first daughter in her arms. I’m overwhelmed with emotions I don’t know how to understand. She’s going to be the most unbelievable mother- kind, generous, curious, silly and loving. There will be no shortage of cookies or hugs. I am just so happy for her. Thrilled. Ecstatic. Overjoyed.

Christie I love you more than you know. And I cannot wait to watch you become a mom. I promise to just fall in love with that baby… because I already have. Now- HURRY UP! Every time the phone rings I jump out of my skin and can barely handle the phone.