I remember the day I first met Heather. We all went out to eat (it might have been a Chili's) and I was uncomfortable. It isn't that Heather made me feel uncomfortable it's just that I always felt weird meeting Jon's girlfriends. That's not to say that he's had twelve hundred of them or anything but the few that he's had always made me feel awkward at first. You see, I kind of have a strange personality. That is to say that, if we don't hit it off, a little of me might go a long way. If you know me you're nodding. Admit it. In any case, with the exception of my middle school years I've always cared a lot about my brother. Even when we were little and I spent a great deal of time hitting him, I also liked him. So it was always important to me to find a balance of being myself but not being too much of myself when I met my brother's girlfriends. The plan was that if they stuck around long enough, I'd increase the Lori dosage over time.
It's not that I'm obnoxious. I happen to think I'm a lovely person. But I'm weird. I'm artsy and loud and I love nothing more than to make people laugh. So, in order to not mortify my brother, I try to be slightly less artsy, a bit more quiet and crack a few less jokes when I'm meeting his new leading lady.
So we had dinner. Heather was quiet and I was wondering if I would ever be able to introduce this nice, quiet girl to my real self. I also remember thinking that I had better be able to because this was the girl he would marry. I really and truly thought that the very first time I met her. She was just different from the other people he had dated. And not different like, "So, what is Jon's new girlfriend like?" Well, she's...different. She was different like, Yeah, I could see her marrying my brother and raising my nieces and nephews one day. Different. In a good way.
That was three years ago.
She came into the room, post delivery, to see Garrett when he was born in July of 2006 and I knew that anyone my brother would feel comfortable parading through a delivery room, anyone who would enter a delivery room of her own accord, anyone I would allow to see me in such an exhausted, gnarly state, was definitely a keeper. And so we asked her if we could call her Aunt Heather. I said that I didn't want Garrett to be confused if he called her Heather and then, one day, we told him that he had to start calling her Aunt Heather. But, really, I think it was more for me than anyone. Jon wouldn't dare break up with Garrett's Aunt Heather, right? It was my insurance policy. My fool proof way of insisting that my brother marry her. She'd seen my personality and she'd seen my personality on pregnancy and she still seemed to be alright with being in my presence. And because I love my brother I've never had an interest in hating his wife and I certainly don't have an interest in his wife hating me.
I love Heather. It turns out that she's not really quiet. I love the way she makes my brother smile. I love the way she loves my son as much as my brother does. I love that she makes ridiculous home videos with us. I love that she is close to her family and that she gets along so well with mine. I love that she's competitive when she plays board games despite the fact that this is one of the things that drives me most crazy about my brother. Although, to be fair, she's not nearly as cocky as he is. I love that the four of us--Jon, Heather, Troy and myself--have a subcategory of our relationship that is based almost entirely on making fun of one another. This includes but is not limited to laughing so hard I almost wet my pants on the way home from Black Angus because Heather said something about a piggy or, I don't even remember, I just know we were all making fun of her and she took it well. I just love her.
And that day when we first met is just a distant memory of a time when, even though I had a suspicion that this would be the one, we didn't know what the future would hold. Congratulations Jon & Heather!