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For Rachel

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I’m sure this post will turn too-sentimental very quickly, but I will try to reign in any gooey schmaltz if I see it taking over. Here goes.

I got a birth announcement the other day: Rachel had her first baby, a boy. Rachel was my best friend from junior high and she will always have a special place in my heart. Even though we haven’t kept up regularly over the years, our friendship is one of those timeless relationships that sustains me: I know I’m loved because I have old friends who love me.

Anyone who knew Rachel and me back in junior high thought we were a mismatched pair. We were. Rachel was a smart, mature redhead and I was a silly, restless blonde. I got us into loads of trouble and Rachel kept us out of more. And at an age when adolescents are negotiating daily who they are and who they want to be, Rachel and I formed our own identities relative to one another. She was the focused future-professional, I was the scatterbrained dreamer. She was steady, I was not.

But as different as we were, we worked so well together. We spoke the same junior high girl language, forever discussing if Johnnie Depp was cuter than Jon Bon Jovi (still an excellent debate), and which John Hughes movie had the best “Molly-Ringwald-gets-the-guy” moment. During the day we wrote notes, passed covertly in the bustling hallways, then lazily walked home after school talking about boys. At night we spent hours talking on the phone discussing inane details of the day’s encounters with our latest boy crushes. And on Saturday afternoons we shopped at shopping malls, looking for clothes that would magically help us snag the boys of our dreams.

And to this day, I hold her secrets and will never share them with a single soul. Cross my heart.

So when my beloved best friend from junior high had a baby, I wanted to give a gift that says, “Baby, do you know how wonderful your mom is?!” Rachel was such a fun, wonderfully faithful best friend that I know she’s going to be an incredible mom. So to bless this most blessed baby, I decided to make a bright green flannel lily pad-shaped baby quilt (of course!). I wish I could say that the lily pad has a special meaning or alludes to some inside joke, but no, I just decided last week that this baby needed a lily pad quilt. Besides hanging out in the diaper bag, I thought this cute little quilt would make a fab throw rug for the corner of the nursery: a spot to sit and read board books with mom.

Welcome, perfect baby! You’ve got the best mom in the whole world.

PS. Rachel, I would not ask a busy mom like you to stage a picture with your adorable newborn lying on this lily pad quilt. But if you could, that’d be great!

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