No matter the location of the Starbucks, their layout and decor are familiar, and that is comforting. I sat in the comfortable chair and surveyed the crowd, Becky hadn't yet arrived and there was Jer standing in line to get my drip and oatmeal and his grande Americano. The expression on his face was a mirror of my own anxious excitement. He rejoined me and then we re-arranged the furniture to make room for our expected guests.
Becky came in, she reminded us of how these things usually go. An introduction, tell a little, ask a little, see where the conversation goes. Enter Ashley, H's counselor. She's perky and fun, I like her immediately. We all chat for a few minutes when a young woman approaches and says hi to Ashley. She turned and I saw her it was like one of those moments where the world slows down so I can write it all down in my mind. "Sorry I'm late" she says. Late? I hadn't noticed, in a split second I recalled noting every second past the time we were supposed to meet with K. Already my perspective was different. Jer confirmed my thought aloud saying, "I didn't think you were late." H. checks her phone, "Two minutes."
"I like this girl" I thought as I smiled and offered my hand, "You're H." I stated with a bigger smile. "Hi!" she answered and then shook Jer's hand too. I cursed the table we'd moved to make a "grouping" but perhaps a hug would have been too much. But perhaps my bumping into it and then frowning at it wasn't lost on her, because she smiled at me again.
Becky asked us to share how we met, and I began to tell the tale that I've told so many times before, at the end of it, I realized it was 12 years ago to the week that Jer and I had met. We both noted that aloud and it was kind of a nice little moment. We were surprised that it had sneaked up on us like that.
We asked H a few questions that lead to some good conversation about family, pets, school and things like that. She seemed to have a little smile going the whole time. She then went on to say that she was having a boy and then said she thought the moments after a baby is born are special and she had a special thing she does, (And my mind jumped to thinking "She doesn't want me there. She's going to tell us we won't be at the hospital until later.") I almost missed her saying, "I'd like to invite you to be there." I must have done a "BLINK BLINK" *blonde look* "Blink" and then said "YES!" I kicked myself for thinking before I listened. She's like "You're sure" I reply that she's made "my lifetime" and I felt my eyes well up and nearly spill over, just like the did at my wedding, but I pulled it together and they subsided. We continued our conversation until H. had to go, I shook her hand again, wishing I could hug her...but a good hand squeeze was all I could really do without shoving my husband over and making a scene. I wonder how many special meetings Starbucks sees.
All I can do is praise my Lord for guiding us all this far, and that He will continue to guide our steps over the next 62 days.
I really do like H. very much and I hope to get to know her a little more before the big day.