Mark and I have known each other for 15 years, and I can say unequivocally that other than my Marcus, he's my best male friend. In fact, calling him a "friend" at this point seems like a gross understatement: to be more accurate, he's really family. We've seen each other through huge life transitions, he and I: international moves, job changes, marriages, name it -- so much so, that when it came for figuring out who would be Alex's godfather, there really wasn't any ruminating to be done.
Mark and his beautiful, whip-smart and seriously funny wife, Morgan, live in London, and during an online conversation Mark and I had back in May, I revealed that Marcus, Alex and I were planning to be in Paris in June.
"For how long?"
"The last two weeks of June, actually," i said. "We're celebrating our 10th anniversary."
"Well, guess what," he said, "we're actually going to be in Paris for a couple of days at the end of June, before heading to Burgandy for a wedding. We'll have to catch up!"
So, catch up we did, spending an entire day with them roaming Paris.
This was especially a gift for us, not just because Alex got to spend time with her godfather (and let me tell you, this kid is besotted with Mark), but also because Morgan was 8 months pregnant at the time. Seeing her pregnant was stunning. You know how they say that pregnant women glow? Well, Morgan was beyond glowing. Girlfriend was radiant:
See what I mean?
So anyway, we had an amazing time together in Paris, but we hadn't really talked much since Marcus, Alex and I returned home. Then, on July 19th, last Friday afternoon, I received an email, with the subject line Ta Da. When I opened it, the most glorious picture of a brand-spanking-new perfect baby boy greeted me, and under it:
William says hello. Ain't he just a little chookooloonks?
I'm pretty sure I broke some sort of speed record with how fast I responded, and 10 minutes later, I was skyping with Mark, Morgan and their beautiful little William, in his mother's hospital room. Morgan looked like she had just walked out of a spa (how does she do that?), and William was lying on her chest, completely peaceful (those little eyelids! those perfect lips!). Also? She was already a total pro, holding William with such tender love, but also with the protectiveness and confidence you'd expect from someone who'd been a mom for a lot longer than just 7 hours or so. And Mark? Well, Mark looked like he'd just experienced the most mind-blowing event he had ever experienced in his entire life -- which, of course, he had.
We skyped for about an hour -- I didn't want to let them go; also, I've never, ever felt so disappointed that I wasn't actually present somewhere with my camera in my life -- and I'm happy to report that I didn't actually break down into joyful tears until after we hung up (there was enough overwhelming emotion in that room already, no need for me to ruin the moment with my running mascara!). Later that afternoon, when I picked Alex up from camp, I broke the news:
"So, Al, guess what! Uncle Mark and Auntie Morgan had their baby!"
"Yes! His name is William, and he's beautiful."
I watched her in my rearview mirror, leaning back and looking out the window with a quiet smile on her face. She was silent for a second, and then:
"MOM! Does this mean that William is my brand new COUSIN?"
I started to correct her -- tell her that no, William isn't a cousin since Mark isn't actually related to us -- and then I stopped myself. That sort of a technical explanation seemed really ridiculous; the biology of it all sort of trivial. I grinned.
"Yeah, Alex, I guess he sort of is. Even better, he's not only sort-of-your-cousin, he's your godbrother, too!"