Most people who know me well know that my best friend and I have been friends since we were 11. This means that we are practically sisters and have been through more ups and downs than you can count. We have weathered large storms together, fought to figure out how to be friends with lives going in different directions, and without fail have committed to always being honest with one another, no matter the cost. All of those elements have served us well as we remain as close as ever all these years later.
When Paris got married to Maria I was overjoyed and excited and thankful that my friend had found her safe place to land. She had a best friend, of a different kind, who would treasure her and adore her, and it made me feel like I knew Paris would be okay. Their wedding day was a beautiful moment in my life because I witnessed my best friend join hands with the love of her life. Nothing sweeter.
But then, Paris and Maria became pregnant. With that came an entirely different flood of emotions. Because of my deep love for Paris, I knew without a doubt that I would love her child more than I could imagine. I have witnessed Paris and Maria love and adore and truly be present for my children. I knew that I would be the same with their children when the time came.
As Paris’ pregnancy progressed, we had a lot of fun guessing gender, then attributes, me begging her to tell me names they were discussing (she played coy A LONG TIME), listening to her detail their nursery plans, and on and on. But then one day, during a regularly scheduled hangout or FFM (Freedom From Maria) night, we went to dinner. Paris was a little quiet on the ride there, a little removed, but otherwise herself. We hadn’t had time to do more than place a drink order before Paris’ eyes welled with tears and she blurted out, “Our baby has down syndrome.” In that moment I really wasn’t sure what I was supposed to feel or how I was supposed to react. So, I did what any best friend would do – I started uncontrollably crying. In hindsight, that might not have been all that helpful to her emotional state, but I was so overcome with feelings about how intense and scary and real that moment was for her. And I could do nothing about it. There was nothing I could say. So, we held hands across the table and both cried and I asked lots of questions. And as we left that dinner, all I could remember thinking was that this baby was so much more than a diagnosis and that regardless of what obstacles he would face, or Maria and Paris would face, this baby was being born into the exactly right family. And I don’t just mean “blood” family, but community of friends and family, far and wide. I knew this baby would know SO much love that it didn’t matter how bleak that moment looked right then and there.
I have been so proud of Paris and Maria and the way they have tackled each obstacle, educated themselves on every topic, tuned themselves in to what his needs and requirements will be and throughout all of that remained a strong, healthy and loving unit. I think so many people have said throughout this how lucky Tobias is to have Paris and Maria for mothers. And there is nothing truer. But I have to say, I think Paris and Maria are lucky to have Tobias. From the first moment I met him, I have said that he is stubborn and willful and a fighter. He’s also the cutest baby ever, which doesn’t hurt. And I think he has a great deal of things to teach all of us. And I can’t wait.
We are all fortunate to have the opportunity to love and adore and cherish Tobias Alexander Ball. And I can’t wait for the trouble our boys will get into together. I can think of nothing better than watching my boys plays with my best friend’s child (children, I hope!) as it shall be a wild ride, indeed.