As I was saying, I was very young when we started dating. His friends had already married by now and had a baby and one on the way. We met up with them one night at her parents' house. If I remember right, I had never been there before. What I DO remember correctly is that I was nervous.
I was and am a city girl. Born and raised. Not that I've never dreamed of living in the country, but I don't really know much about it. And I knew far less about being a rancher or a cowboy or any of that kind of cool stuff.
What I also knew was that cowboys and ranchers pretty much think that all city folk are stupid, wrong, and have no common sense. Not that city slickers don't have their own set of stereotypes for country folk. However, there were a few members of this family who really did think that city folk were stupid, wrong, and had no common sense.
Can we say REALLY nervous?!? I was entering the home of people who were probably just waiting for me to say something stupid. I felt it best to keep my mouth shut most of the time. I didn't ask what a cattle guard was. I didn't ask what part of the horse the bridle went on and I surely didn't ask what a bridle was in the first place!
Hey-at least I didn't ask who their cattle guard was!
So, there we are with our friends, sitting beside a comfy wood stove and a beautiful Christmas tree. The sound of crickets chirping in the dark and the view of thousands of more stars than you'll ever see under city lights was mesmerizing. If you're not careful, you'll start to dream of quilting and canning stuff.
I have always loved babies and our friends' baby was one of the most adorable babies I knew. She had this happy head of curls that bounced when she walked and a smile that lit up the entire-and I do mean ENTIRE-room. And boy could she talk and she didn't know a single stranger. She was just so cute that I just had to play with her.
So, I talked to her, tickled her, then decided to pick her up.
I laid on the floor, reached out, picked her up, and began to swing her over my head.
It was all fun and games until I realized that she was beginning to go past my head and there was no way I could stop her. Next thing I knew, she was all the way over, head first into the Christmas tree.
If only she hadn't cried, things might not have been so embarrassing.
If only she weren't the firstborn for our friends, it might have been funnier.
If only I wasn't a city girl, the whole thing might have been forgotten.
But no, she cried, my friend jumped up with all the urgency of a first-time mom, and there I sat, a city girl with nothing to say for myself.
I am happy to report that the baby wasn't hurt...too bad.
She is now a beautiful young lady who babysits our children. She does a great job and it's only at Christmas time that I worry about my kids and whether or not it would be funny for her to exact revenge. Her parents have threatened a few times. I'm pretty sure they were joking.
So far, so good.