I remember going to visit my girlfriend Angela when she was pregnant with her daughter, Mikenah. Her and her husband, J.C. were living in a small house, and it was the middle of a heat wave.
I didn't really know J.C., but I remember being nervous to see Ang. What would she be like, now that she was pregnant? Would she be scared? How would she look?
As it turned out, it was, always has been, the Ang I knew in high school. Bubbly, funny, laughing. The only thing that was different was that she looked like she had swallowed a beach ball.
I think my opinion of J.C. was formed that night, when, as the three of us watched TV, he leaned over was whispered sweetly to the bulge under her shirt. I knew then what kind of dad Jay would be, and I was right on the money.
When Mikenah was born, I remember walking into the hospital room that November day. My eyes welled up with tears at this tiny pink bundle, who just hours ago was warm and cozy in Ang's tummy. As soon as I held her, I felt a connection.
"I want you to be her god-mother," Ang said, watching me hold her newborn baby a few days later.
With Mikenah's birth, I became a mother, of sorts, too.
Through the past three years of Kenah's life, I've moved around, swept in and out of their house intermittently. Even on those short visits, though, I always knew she was special. Creative, feisty, spunky, with an imagination that has no limits.
"Just relax hun, close your eyes," I say, adjusting myself on the bean bag.
Mikenah closes her eyes.
"Now think of something soothing, like a river, or a little waterfall. Maybe a sunny day at Grandma and Grandpas."
Mikenah's eyes open and she looks at me.
"I'm not thinking about that," she says.
"Ok, what are you thinking about?" I say, trying to hide a smile.
"I'm thinking of a superhero," she says.
"Oh, ok!" I reply, surprised at her answer. "What kind of superhero?"
"I'm thinking of a kid superhero, who flies and wears sunglasses."
I've often asked Ang where she comes up with this stuff. Ang seems just as baffled as everyone else.
I may be a little biased, but my take on her amazing personality is SHE'S JUST THAT SMART.
These two girls have enriched my life more than anyone can know.
I'd like to say she gets this, right here, the sass and the style and the cool-ness from her Auntie Kate. But really, I had very little to do with her genetic make up.
My good friend Ang turned 27 yesterday and I think it's safe to say that she has, thus far, accomplished the most out of all of us. Most days, I don't know how she does it. But she does, all the while staying sane, calm, patient. A wonderful mama.
Happy Birthday, Ang. I'm so proud of you.