So… full disclosure: this senior portrait session is pretty damn special to me. Less to do with me and WAY more to do with that amazing kid up there. That beauty is my Paige Marie. She is the first kid of my best friend. She is my fairy goddaughter. She is a force of nature. She is as close to perfect as a person can get. She’s basically one of the loves of my life and I CANNOT believe she is graduating from high school in a few months. I recall the first time I held her with astonishing clarity. We were in the living room of Jill’s parents house. I had come home from college for the weekend. Because Paige couldn’t WAIT to be born (she was a month early, but that’s a whole other story) she was almost two months old the first time I got to hold her. She was so small and so pretty and so amazing. I remember looking at her and thinking, “Jill MADE you! She just MADE you!” We were young, and I was easily astonished.
Paige changed everything – and she made it a thousand times better. For the first 5 years of her life I basically scared the hell out of her. I was loud and crazy and Paige was born MUCH more mature that I was. When she was in preschool I drove out to Jill’s house in the throws of a full blown panic attack about some boy or some job or something and as I sat on Jill’s sofa sobbing Paige patted my leg. She just patted the leg of a crying crazy person. She was FOUR! Paige is pretty much the reason I have kids. I thought that if I could get a kid even a little like her then it would be worth it. And when I finally met the boy I wanted to have babies with she was my flower girl while her mom was my lady of honor.
Paige is my girl. And the fact that I have recorded her life in pictures (sometimes better than I have recorded my own children) is one of the greatest gifts I’ve been given. Her mom and I cried this week when at the end of a run her mom announced, “Oh! Paige got another college acceptence letter.” And then we looked at each other and just started crying. Because DUDE! Where the hell did the last 17 years go? How did that quiet, precocious kid turn into this woman with a bewitching smile (literally! She was just voted Best Smile by her senior class!) and the big heart? However it happened, this kid – this woman – is one of the best people I know. She makes ME a better human. And for that I can never say thank you enough. Congratulations Paigey Pooh! I love you mucho.