She fell in love with his music when she was just four years old. She would listen to his CD with her dad while they drove around town running errands. They’d walk in the door from a long day and she’d be singing his songs.
Oh, how she sings his songs.
She fell in (4 year old) love with The Man the first time she saw him on TV.
“That’s Keith Urban?” She asked, with her eyes wide open.
“Yes. It is.” I responded. “Isn’t he handsome?”
She giggled. “I want to marry him!”
She would talk about him daily. She would draw pictures of him and for him. She would write letters to him.
“I want to be your girlfriend, Keith Urbin.” She’d scrawl across the blank white paper.
The day she found out he was married, she was devastated. “You’re lying!” She shouted. “He’s MY husband!”
Once she accepted this reality, she started writing letters to his wife, “Micole.” They were sweet and said things like “I like the way your husband sings.”
But she never stopped loving Micole’s husband. She never stopped singing his songs. She never stopped writing him letters and drawing him pictures.
One night while we were sitting on the sofa watching a Keith Urban special, she asked me to pause the TV. “Mom, if he has a show by our house, will you take me there to see him?”
“Of course I will, love.”
“And after the show, will you take me to meet him? I just want to meet him so bad.”
I explained that it probably wouldn’t be possible to meet him after the show, but you never know! Maybe?
“Oh, I hope I can’t meet him!” She said, with her hands folded as if she was saying a prayer.
“Babe, doesn’t that look like Keith Urban?” My husband asked as we were sitting in the airport waiting to board a flight from Chicago to LAX.
“That IS Keith Urban!” I gasped.
Gabby was sitting next to me. “Gabby! That’s Keith Urban sitting over there.” I said, as I pointed. (Pointing is rude! I know! But I had to show her!)
She wants to meet Keith Urban and there he is sitting just a few feet away from her.
I wanted to go say hello to him, to introduce my daughter– his biggest, littlest fan- to him. I wanted to watch as she met the man of her dreams right there in the airport terminal.
But he was on the phone. And I didn’t want to be rude and interrupt his phone call. So, I sat and waited for the right time.
The right time never came. An American Airlines employee came over to him and walked him over so he could board the plane first. I was bummed for my daughter and quite possibly for myself because there’s nothing more beautiful as a parent than watching your child’s dreams come true.
“Mommy, where did Keith Urban go?” Gabby asked when she noticed his seat was empty.
I explained to her that he had already boarded the plane. I told her that maybe we could say hello to him when we got on the plane, if he wasn’t busy.
“No, Mommy!” She whined. “I was just kidding about loving him! I don’t love him and I don’t want to meet him!”
“You don’t have to talk to him if you don’t want to, but I think it would be so wonderful if you said hello to him. You’ve always said you wanted to meet him.”
She got very quiet as we stood in line.
“Mommy? My heart is beating so fast. Is yours beating fast too?”
I about died right there. HER HEART WAS BEATING FAST.
Sweetie, it’s okay to be nervous and it’s okay if you don’t want to say hello. I don’t want you to be nervous.”
“I do want to say hi to him, Mommy. I’m just so nervous.”
When we stepped onto the plane, I noticed Keith was sitting in the first row. He wasn’t on the phone, so I politely made my move.
“Hello, I am sorry to bother you, but my daughter adores you and she would love to say hi to you.”
He smiled at her and said “Hi, what’s your name?”
“Gabby.” She answered.
“She just loves your music.” I said.
“Oh yeah? What’s your favorite song, Gabby?” He asked.
She was silent and I’m pretty sure it was because her little heart was pounding so hard.
“I Wanna Kiss a Girl.” I said.
“I wanna kiss a girl…” He sang.
I thanked him and we walked to our seats.
Shortly after takeoff, Gabby asked if she could write Keith a note. “I just want to tell him thank you for saying hi to me.” I told her she could write the note, but that I didn’t think we would be able to give it to him. However, I had a fabulous conversation with the flight attendant while waiting to use the restroom. I told her all about Gabby’s encounter with Keith and how much she loved him. I mentioned the note she wanted to write for him.
“Have her write that note and I’ll take her up front to give it to him.”
I practically ran back to my seat to give Gabby the good news.
She wrote her note (I helped make sure she spelled all of the words correctly, but they were definitely her words.)
Dear Keith Urban,
Thank you for letting me listen to your songs. I like you.
The flight attendant walked over, took Gabby by the hand and said “let’s go give that to Keith Urban!”
I sat in my seat and watched as my daughter made her way to the front of the plane. I watched as Keith leaned over and accepted the note she had written. I watched as she smiled and spoke to him. My heart felt like it was going to burst open. IT WAS THE SWEETEST MOMENT. You just have to believe me. It truly was.
When the flight attendant returned my daughter to me, I asked her to replay what had just happened. She told me what Keith had said to Gabby and what Gabby had said to Keith. The absolute funniest moment was when Keith asked her if she wanted his autograph.
“No thank you.” She answered sweetly.
We both agreed she had no idea what an “autograph” was. So, the flight attendant took the notebook to Keith so he could sign it.
This is what she brought back.
When we read it together, my daughter smiled. Then started to giggle. That giggle turned into laughter.
“OH MY GOSH!” She said while putting her hands over his face. “Why did he call me HIS GIRLFRIEND? He must really love me or something!”
I cried. I did. Because it was the most precious thing to witness.
She stared at that paper for the entire flight. Sometimes giggling. Sometimes asking me questions about it. Sometimes doubting that he was being sincere.
“I think he was just faking it. I don’t think he really wants me to be his girlfriend.”
My husband and I can’t stop talking about how great Keith Urban was to Gabby. It was a late night flight, he had just done a show. It would have been understandable if he didn’t want to be bothered. But he was gracious to our daughter. He was genuinely kind. A true class act, that man.
I’m buying a frame for that note tomorrow and hanging it on her wall. I never want her to forget the day Keith Urban sang to her and called her his girlfriend.
(Happy, but SO VERY TIRED. Traveling is hard, y’all.)