As I drove to the hospital to meet Chloe Ann Scott for the first time I couldn’t help remembering the first time I became friends with her mom, Suzanne more than 20 years ago. The two of us along with a long list of good, but also not-so-good-12-year-olds, played on the same softball team, which her dad, Bob coached. We were the South Bay’s version f the “Bad News Bears” Bob told us he wasn’t going to shave his beard until we won a game. By the end of the season he looked like Grizzly Adams. When I wasn’t hanging out in the dug out braiding hair or eating a taco boat, I would play in the outfield. Meanwhile, Bob made Suzanne play pretty much every important position because she was the only one, who really knew what she was doing.

The year before her dad coached, we had different coach. However, we were just as bad, partly to do with the fact that we had pre-teens like me on the team who came straight from school and would forget to bring their shorts to practice. One day, when I showed up in my jean skirt to practice the coach (not Bob) got angry and told Suzanne to chase me around the bases and if she caught me I would have to do laps around the field. Well, lets just say I could have ran my fastest and Suzanne could have probably walked and she still would have caught me. But she didn’t. She did the ultimate fake-slow run and I was so thankful for it.

As I sit here reminiscing about seventh grade and all the years between now and then, I think about Chloe and all that she has to look forward to and all that her mother and father will try to protect her from.

When she is old enough maybe I will tell Chloe about how her mom didn’t catch me on purpose and what it means to let people beat you even if you know you can win. I will tell Chloe about what a great friend her mom has been to so many, and that in life, the depth of a good friendship will save you more so than money or power ever can. I will tell Chloe how much her parents love each other and love her and that the love of her family will be the most reliable source of support she can ever have. I will tell Chloe that throughout the years her mom has befriended people of all walks of life and she has never judged them but instead celebrated them and to do that it takes character, and there is no substitute for good character. I will tell Chloe about when her dad made several phone calls to switch his schedule because he didn’t want to miss out on decorating her nursery and as the day came closer to her arrival he would ask, how’s my girl doing?

And finally, (if she is still listening to me) I will tell Chloe that nobody believes in her more or loves her more than her mommy and her daddy and while at times she may feel like everything is upside down and world isn’t right, everything will always be okay, especially if she has a good friend.