The night that I met my husband, the lanky guitar player who’d mesmerized me on stage, long and lean at 6’3” tall and 165 pounds, with the most beautiful eyes I’d ever seen, my sister was already rooting for us to be a couple. She wanted me happy, in a good relationship, and back on track to the future of marriage and kids that I’d always expected.
As my sister and I drifted off to sleep that night, crammed hip-to-hip in our dad’s RV (we were camping at a bluegrass festival), she turned to me and said, “You’d make a great couple.” I thanked her, but reminded her that all I knew about him was his first name, that he had a great singing voice, and that we had one friend in common (the fiddle player in the same band). She nodded, as if thinking this over, then said, “You guys sure would have some skinny kids, though.” It was hysterical at the time, given that he and I had only known each other for about eight hours. While it seemed like he was interested, you can never be sure about these things, and planning for children with him seemed like jumping the gun just a tad.
We laughed about her looking so many years into one of many possible futures, ignoring the fact that we knew virtually nothing about each other yet. This is typical of my sister, both her relentless optimism as well as her determination to see any new venture to its best-case conclusion, even if that means taking over the situation and giving it the nudge she thinks it needs. Proof in point: at the end of the weekend, as we were heading home, it was my brazen sister who gave the cute guitar player my number, not me.
He called me a few hours later to schedule our first date. Two years after that we were married, and two years later we had our first daughter, then our second. The thing is, my sister was right. Both children are the chronically skinny kids that she predicted. My husband and I laugh about this frequently, the absurdity of the prediction come true. Maybe she saw something between us that night that we didn’t see ourselves just yet, or maybe every new relationship just needs one relentless optimist on the sidelines, rooting for the best possible conclusion, to make the couple think it’s really possible.