Matt's baby girl arrived tonight.
My first best friend, my original big brother, he's a dad. The guy who always said he wasn't going to have kids until he was 40, he's a dad. I've known about this for months, and it's still crazy and still something I'm trying to wrap my mind around.
I remember how, on my 21st birthday, Matt spent hours playing with Blake, and as I watched them, I thought "he's gonna make a great dad one day." I just didn't think it'd be this soon (and I don't think he did, either).
And now I'm just sitting here thinking a) how badly I wish I was down there with him (though they're coming up here this summer so I'll get to meet the baby soon enough!) and b) as cheesy as it sounds, how much time has passed and how quickly it's gone.
It's bringing back all these memories of high school. How in love with him I was. How scared I was to trust him or, even worse, lose him. How he never retreated, even for a second, no matter how many times I questioned him and his loyalty. All the times he saved me from myself when my mind thought a little too hard about suicide. How getting harassed for being friends with me never changed how he felt about me. How he was always the one escape I had from my family. How he would sneak through the woods between our houses even when it was pitch black just to come see me.
I remember the day that I realized it really was best that he's just my big brother and how it felt to realize that I was actually completely over him. And I've watched our relationship get even stronger since then, because my feelings were no longer blinding me from seeing the blessing that our relationship was just as it was. I remember all the times that those feelings came up in conversation and how he never held them against me or looked at me differently because of them.
I was in 6th grade when I met this loud, rambunctious kid who also happened to be a musical genius, and now I'm about to finish grad school. I was there through his many girlfriends, and he was there through my bullying and emotional trauma. I was the one who told him he deserved better than what he was getting. He was the one who promised me that there would be other people who loved me like he did, I just had to hold on to find them.
I never could have imagined that that kid I met in orchestra and Academic Derby would end up being my best friend, my big brother, my family for life. When I was struggling to make it through high school and he was all I had, I never could have imagined that one day, I wouldn't need him so badly anymore. When I was fighting for my life in and out of hospitals, I never could have imagined that I would one day get the life he always knew was coming for me. I'm not kidding when I say I couldn't have made it here without him.
I'm so happy for him, and proud beyond words of the man I've had the honor of watching him become. And the best part is that I know he's going to feel this exact same way when I have a family of my own one day - he can be sentimental when he wants to be. :)
It's been thirteen and a half years since the story of us began. Here's to the next thirteen.