On the night you were born, the Red Sox won the World Series.
If your dad ever doubted God’s love for him, it wasn’t on October 27th, 2004 when his favorite hometown baseball team won the pennant and his very first baby girl entered the world.
As soon as she found out I was in labor, Deedoe hopped a flight and flew south to Louisiana.
You were born an hour before she landed and I called her as she was deboarding the plane to let her know you had arrived.
When she heard you were a girl and we named you after my own sister, Meaghan, Deedoe says she was so excited she threw her hands up in the air and said, “It’s a girl!”
Now your Grandma loves a good story so I’m not saying she embellished it at all, but DeeDoe swears the entire plane clapped and cheered at her announcement.
In any case, you should know that on the day you were born, all of Boston, a plane brimming with people waiting on the New Orleans tarmac, the entire Murphy and Duggan clans, and your dad and me, cheered for you, Meaghan.
That’s how happy we were to have you in our lives.
From the day you were born, you ate and slept like clockwork--every four hours.
You were an easy baby--happy and content--except you didn’t want anyone but me to hold you.
Honestly, when others would offer to cuddle you for a bit, I broke into a sweat and my heart rate accelerated.
I knew where you were most comfortable--in my arms--and I was most comfortable with you there, too.
I think you got a little too comfortable, however, because when you were 18 months old, I took you to our beloved Pediatrician for a check up.
You weren’t walking and you had invented the most unique way of crawling ever known to humankind.
I called it the “sit and lift” where you would perch upright and use your hands to lift your entire torso and legs off the ground, kinda like a little chimpanzee moves.
The doctor got on all fours to watch you “crawl” and after a thorough examination, he looked at me and said,
“Colleen, she needs to see an orthopedic specialist. I’m concerned.”
I did what all mothers do when a doctor refers them to a specialist and I freaked out and then I cried and then I made the appointment to see a doctor to make sure your bones were ok.
When the day to meet with the specialist arrived, he sent us off for some x-rays and after some time, he came back into the room to meet with me.
“Mrs. Duggan,” he said, “Meaghan’s bones are growing beautifully.
There is nothing wrong with them.”
“What do you mean?” I said to him, happy you were ok but perplexed about your ineptitude for upward mobility. “Then why isn’t she walking?”
He gave me funny look and said gently, “I encourage you to go home and implement a little benign neglect.”
“Benign neglect!” I said. “Are you implying I carry her around too much and that’s why she’s not walking?”
The doctor grinned wide and shrugged his shoulders.
“No, ma’am,” he said. “I’m not implying anything.”
I cried tears of relief in the parking lot over your perfect bones and properly working legs.
And then I called your dad to let him know the doctor said we needed to ignore you.
Your dad vowed never to pick you up again.
Within in a few days, we had you walking on your own.
You hated the “benign neglect” and let us know by following us around with your arms outstretched, crying because your heartless parents wouldn’t pick you up.
But we knew it was time you used your own two feet.
And just like you are now, you were a fast learner.
The Red Sox won the World Series again this week, the same week you turned 9-years-old. Your dad was just as thrilled with their victory as he was the night you were born.
Over his bowl of Rice Crispies the morning after the game, he announced the score and then he looked you right in the eye and said, “Meaghan, did you know the Red Sox won the World Series the night you were born?”
You rolled your eye, giggled a little and said, “Yeah, Dad, you’ve told me.”
But here’s the thing, Meaghan--- the thing you won’t ever understand until you are a parent yourself.
Sure, the Red Sox winning the biggest ball game ever was a huge deal, but when it happens on the same night your first baby girl is born, it’s nothing other than a gift from God.
Sure, your dad loves those stupid Red Sox, but it doesn’t compare to the way he loves you.
When he tells you over and over again the Red Sox won the World Series on the night you were born, what he’s really trying to say is,
“Do you know on that night you were born, Meaghan---one of the greatest nights of my life--I felt a love I’ve never felt before and my life was made complete in a way I didn’t know was possible? Of course the Red Sox won the World Series! It’s only appropriate my favorite baseball team commemorate your birth because that night is one etched into my bones. It’s a night I’ll never forget, a night for which I’ll spend the rest of my life thanking God.”
Guess what, Meaghan?
I feel the same way as your dad.
The Red Sox winning the World Series was the icing on our very first birthday cake celebrating you.
Just like that ball team keeps rocking baseball history, you rocked our worlds--in the best way possible-- 9 years ago and you are still doing it today.
Happy birthday, my girl.
I Love You,