Addie and Hendley playing
I couldn't wait to write my Sunday blessing today. I know it's Saturday -- I don't care.
This morning, Jeffrey and I spent two hours with some very special family.
Last Thursday, Joy Eady Peterson emailed me that she and her husband, Jason, and their beautiful Addison Grace, would be meeting Danny and Jennifer Hill Watson at the IHOP in Millledgeville for breakfast Saturday at 9:30. Julie Harrell Boucek and her daughter, Hendley Caroline, were on their way to Georgia (Julie's dear Granny died. She's in a better place and lived such a beautiful life.) Anyway, the plan was to surprise Jenn, who is expecting her first son, Tyler Reed, at Christmas time, with an unexpected baby shower/meeting. Our friend Kyle was also coming -- Kyle is a new friend to me, but she's an amazing photographer!
I was so excited I could barely contain myself. It was a surprise, all right. We were afraid Jenn would go into labor. She was so surprised, especially to see Julie and Hendley. There were hugs and tears and the passing around of babies. SO joyful!
It was incredibly wonderful to be invited to join these young families who mean so much to me. You see, between 1998 and 2001, these were my "Colonnade kids," editors and reporters for the student newspaper I advised. I'd taught and advised all of them except Danny and Kyle. Plus. Jeffrey adores Julie -- she calls him 'the baby" -- he even took her to the Best Buddies prom in 1999, and they had a great, great time.
I am an only child, so I occasionally "adopt" a student and make him or her my children. Well, these are my children. Jason, well, I have an even more special connection with him. He's working on a Ph.D. at my Alma Mater, Southern Mississippi -- in the same field of study as I pursed, mass media history. He's also studying the same era I did, the 1950s and '60s.
Well, I was beside myself. I'd not met the babies (only loved them from afar) and I got to feed one and cuddle both and kiss a lot of cute baby heads! Addie and Hendley are just angels -- they had a ball playing together, and they're as different as can be!
Jenn looked fantastic -- she sent her pregnancy pictures yesterday (taken by the brilliant Kyle). I was thinking I remember when she first had a crush on Danny Watson. I remember when Julie met Bill, and of course I remember Joy and Jason: two words -- BAVA fest!
I'll never have grandchildren -- Jeffrey's autism may preclude him from even marrying, I don't know. So I hope my "kids" don't mind that I consider their babies my "grandchildren." Julie even came up with a name -- AGC -- Adopted Granny Carter.
Jason said at one point, "did you ever expect something like this would happen?" JP, I did. I couldn't have predicted when or with whom (OK, I figured out you and Joy in 2001) but knowing your character, I was sure that a loving family would be part of your future. You all are everything I expected, and SO much more.
I'm so proud I could just pop. I was on cloud nine. I still am.
My pictures aren't the best -- I was using my cellphone camera -- but they will do for here. I just hope I get to see the ones of me with Addie and with Hendley. They are beautiful, beautiful girls, and I look forward to watching them grow up. Who knows, maybe I'll get to go to their weddings, too! Tyler, too, if Jenn and Danny don't mind.
Hendley Caroline Boucek
Addison Grace Peterson
Julie, Joy and Addie
Jenn, Danny and Hendley
Jenn, Danny and the cute bib they got for Tyler -- Officer Dribble
I am feeling much, much love, as you can see!
Adopted Granny Ging