November 30, 2014

a letter to madison mae.

A couple weeks ago, my best friend Kelly welcomed a baby girl with her husband, Matt. Kel and I met on the first day of college, became instant best friends along with our third counterpart, Erin, and quite seriously didn't separate over the next four years. Two years ago, we stood beside each other at our weddings, which were two weeks apart, and it's been surreal and incredible to see her become a mother. Here, a little letter to her beautiful daughter, Madison Mae.

Dear Madison,

You're going to hear this a lot throughout your life, but let me just point out the obvious right away and say that you're the luckiest little girl in the world. Your mother is one of a kind, your father is one of the most insightful men I've ever known, and don't even get me started on your grandparents.

Okay, now that that's out of the way, let me tell you about your mom. Because she's always been special, and you make her even more so, but if you're anything like her, you're outrageously curious, and you'll someday want to know who she was before she was your mom.

The day I met her, we were eighteen years old and moving into our freshman-year dorm rooms. She wore crisp white shorts and a sleeveless black polo, and her easy laugh made me feel like I might just be okay when my parents drove away. I was right. That night, your mom, Erin, and I were the first to hit the dance floor during a ridiculously awkward welcome party. We laughed over brand-new inside jokes like we'd known each other for years, and there was something about being together that made us feel instantly, deeply ourselves. As you'll fully understand someday, that was just the first of many dance parties we started together. (Play Salt-N-Pepa's "Push It" around us. I dare you.)

It didn't take long for me to feel lucky to be counted among your mom's best friends. She's charming and magnetic in a way that's almost superhuman, and what makes her so likable is that she's always, in every situation, unapologetically herself. You can find her in any place, among any group of people, and your mom will be the same person each and every time. No matter what, she'll crack the same silly jokes and ask all kinds of questions and her laugh will be one of the loudest in the room.

Your dad fell for her quickly, and when he made his first appearance in our dorm room, I remember seeing her light up in a way that I'd never seen before. They were very different, but also the same, and they challenged each other in all the right ways. He asked her questions she'd never considered before, and she made him laugh in a way that left him lighter, somehow. Weeks into their relationship, he talked about marrying her, and although we laughed, it felt inevitable to all of us.

Some of this will be true forever, and some of this may change, but this is your mom...

She drives with the windows down, one foot curled beneath her or propped up on the dash. She blasts country songs on the radio and belts them out, and if she doesn't know the words, she'll make them up. She cries over the sad songs, but not for long. As with most things, she bounces back quickly.

She prefers wine to beer, and she's either the first to go to bed or the first to suggest shots.

She likes Bobbi Brown makeup and funny romantic comedies and cable-knit everything. Most of the time, she's wearing yoga pants and a white tee, and if she's not, you can bet she's sporting a maxi dress or a sweater, and it's probably black, white, navy, or gray. Maybe striped.

She's up for anything, and afraid of almost nothing.

Madison, she's thought about you for a long time. When we were nineteen and twenty, your mom and I slept in twin beds only a few feet apart, and as we were falling asleep, we'd talk about what our kids might be like someday. We'd brainstorm baby names and laugh at how weird we are and hope that our kids would be totally weird, too. She talked a lot about wanting to be a mom, and knowing she would be, and how Matt would be the most amazing dad. (She was right.)

There's so much I want to tell you, and so much I want to save for later — for a random summer night when you're older and we're all curled up on the couch in your parents' living room and we're laughing and swapping stories and you ask me to tell you more. There's so much more, Madison.

Ask me about the 7 a.m. frozen yogurt runs and the midnight campus walks and the time your mom threw limes at a guy across the bar because he'd hurt one of us. Ask about the Amsterdam dinner and the Rome pub crawl and the time we cried watching the Eiffel Tower sparkle in Paris.

Ask me about the day your mom told me she really loved your dad, and ask me what he said about her when I interviewed him for a school project about relationships. Ask me about their wedding day. Ask me how giddy she looked while getting ready, how his eyes welled up as she walked down the aisle, how hard she laughed during each and every speech throughout the weekend.

Ask me about anything, Madison, okay? That's what your hilariously nosy mom would do. And if there's one thing I hope you understand in all of this, it's that your mom is someone to emulate. She laughs loudly and easily, and that's all you really need to know, isn't it?

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More on Kelly:


Kathleen Daly said... [Reply to comment]

This is so beautiful. I've known Kelly since she was a little girl and you describe her perfectly. She will be an awesome mom and she is lucky to have such an incredible friend. Love, Mrs. Daly

Laura Marie Meyers said... [Reply to comment]

@Kathleen Daly Aww thank you! :)

Natalie said... [Reply to comment]

Throughout the years of reading your blog I've heard bits and pieces about Kelly...congratulations to her and her growing family! This post made me tear up! You are such a special person!

RetreatingAndAdvancing said... [Reply to comment]

this is so wonderful, laura! wish her sll the best with baby madison :)

Anna V said... [Reply to comment]

I don't even know Kelly & I find myself getting choked up! You have such a beautiful way with words!

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