When I started a new school in eighth grade, there was this boy. He was a big ninth grader and the first time I saw him I told a new friend, “He’s so cute!” And he was. Super cute. But I was a lowly eighth grader, and then I was a lowly ninth grader to his tenth grade and a tenth grader to his eleventh.
But then one of my friends became his friend. And by eleventh grade I had talked to him. We said, “Hi!” in the hallway when we passed and even had conversations about a shared class. He was still super cute.
Our mutual friend told me that the cute boy had said that he thought I was cute. I probably shrieked with delight, the way teenage girls are wont to do, and immediately brushed it off.
At a Halloween party my junior year, the super cute boy was in attendance. We chatted, we flirted, and his cuteness grew exponentially as I learned that he was also smart, funny, and really nice.
We started dating, and I was completely taken by him. His charm, his intelligence, his conversation skills, everything about him. That boy that I had had a crush on for over three years? Liked me too. We spent an increasing amount of time together over the course of my junior year, but then he graduated and went to college in Maryland.
I spent my senior year missing him. There were other boys, but none of them were that super cute boy that I liked from the moment I first glanced his way.
The summer after his first year of college we were attached at the hip. I had a waitressing job not far from where he was living and we were able to get together almost every day that summer. When I left for college at the end of the summer I sobbed. I cried for the first hour of the twelve-hour car ride up to Smith. He was not going back to the college he had attended the previous year, and knowing that he was in Pittsburgh made it that much harder for me to leave.
We managed to stay close over the next three years while I was attending college in Massachusetts and he was either working or attending Carnegie Mellon. That cute boy that I crushed on for so long had become my long term boyfriend. We talked on the phone every day, sent e-mails almost as often, and made sure to spend a lot of time together on breaks. He was able to come visit me a few times and I was able to come home for longer breaks every once in a while.
That cute boy who had become my long term boyfriend then became a father unexpectedly.
If someone had asked me if Zach would make a good father I would have responded, “Yes! Of course!” And I would have meant it. But I never could have foreseen what I now know: he is an astounding father. And he has remained super cute, funny, smart, nice and caring.
If someone would have told me that the cute boy I saw walking down the hall when I started at my new school in eighth grade would one day be the father of my child and the love of my life? I would have laughed in their face. But that cute boy has become exactly that and then some.
Happy Birthday, Zach. I love you more than words can express.