My friend Sarah is my oldest friend and was the amazing Matron of Honor at my wedding. We met on the first day of first grade, when she let me sit with her on the bus. We pretty much have be together ever since. She is even the one who helped Bülent pick out my engagement ring.
She was expecting her first baby in September. I joked with her that her timing was bad, since I was leaving the U.S. in August, that she should hurry it up. I didn’t expect her to take me seriously.
She and her husband, Chris, were originally planning to name their baby Olivia, but changed their minds and decided on Kaida (the Japanese word for “dragon.”) They made an excellent choice, the name is completely apropos. Kaida is a damned amazing fighter, something she has shown already. As her mom says, “Don’t poke the Dragon.”
Kaida was born a full month early and was a very sick baby. Sarah was rushed to a hospital over an hour away, that specializes in high-risk births and infant care. They asked all family members to wait to visit Kaida until the family was home together, but Sarah contacted me and invited me to come meet Kaida before I left for Turkey.
Being invited by my friends to see them while they were excited and joyful, frightened and in awe of this tiny being they had brought into the world, was incredibly special and a privilege I will never forget. I can see them now, Chris holding Kaida, her eyes closed, so tiny and fragile, Sarah gazing at the two of them. Sarah and Chris were madly in love, with Kaida, so much so that their love was almost tangible.
Since Kaida’s birth Sarah and Chris have ben doing anything and everything to help their little girl. For the last three weeks they have either been sleeping in the hospital or a a dorm nearby. Thankfully, Kaida has been doing just as much for her parents as they have for her. Each day she has been fighting, growing stronger and healthier. The sick baby I saw in the hospital is a far cry from the rosy, alert baby with the chubby checks, in the pictures her mother is emailing me. She is doing so well, in fact, that she has been transferred to the local hospital NICU, since she is no longer high risk! Woot Woot! Sarah and Chris, Congratulations on your very precious new daughter. She couldn’t have more kind, amazing parents, ones who even gave her an awesome name to fight with! Welcome to the world Baby Kaida, clearly you have a sense for the dramatic, but we’ll need to have a serious talk about how it is not polite to rush your mother.
P.S. Auntie Jules already has started buying adorable stuff to send to her little dragon.