Brittany: Meeting Kelly and Other Old Friends
One of the best things about Creative Construction is that it’s begun to feel like a family. I feel like I have friends all over the world. As it happened, Kelly’s house was the halfway point between home and our cruise that left from Miami, so we decided to get together while we were in the neighborhood.
We had a wonderful time. I can’t say enough nice things about our evening. Kelly and her husband prepared us a delicious meal, and Sam fell completely and instantly in love with Kelly’s girls (who are, indeed, magical). Within minutes he was running circles with them in their backyard like they were old friends. I felt the same way about Kelly. We weren’t making small talk in her kitchen–we talked like we’d known each other for years, even though we’d never actually met in person.
That is the beauty of a community like this one, where we are all on a similar journey.
Meeting Kelly was an odd juxtaposition after spending the week with my best friend, Nicole, who I hadn’t seen since 1994. She is Australian, and lived with us as an exchange student during the 1992-1993 school year when we were both sophomores in high school. We had an immediate connection, were the kind of soul-matish friends that only happen once in any lifetime, and after a year together had to return to lives on two continents worlds apart. When I was a senior in high school, she came back to the US for a visit, and that was the last time I saw her. Until the internet became widespread, we fell hopelessly out of touch. We missed each others’ college years, weddings, pregnancies, and only reunited in cyberspace after our children were born. It was as if no time at all had passed, though, and now we e-mail almost daily.
When I found out that she and her family were planning to spend two months in the US, I couldn’t wait to see her again, in real time. We reunited on a week-long cruise this past week, and might have fallen into an easy rhythm again (our husbands even got along well), had it not been for the fact that after 13 years, we now traveled with husbands, children, and parents. It was disappointing to see each other so little, and also sad to see the ways motherhood and wifehood could impact a strong female friendship. We were both running hither and yon, managing our families, trying to get from point A to point B in the sanest way possible. I was so exhausted from looking after my family’s collective needs that the week flew by with only a dull twinge of regret that she and I hadn’t yet been able to reconnect in any meaningful way. She and her family will be here at our house from the 10th through the 25th, but I am readjusting my expectations about her visit and the actual time we’ll get to spend together. This year has been the one where motherhood has forced me to readjust all my expectations, and I’m only now beginning to grieve over what I didn’t realize I’d already lost.
Then, I returned home and checked my e-mail. I had a message from Micaela, who I haven’t seen since 1996. She and I were exchange students together in Hungary, and had many adventures together as we tried to navigate life in that crazy country. I’ve missed her and tried to track her down many times. Michaela is the only other person that witnessed that pivotal year of my life. Whenever I feel nostalgic for Hungary, it’s her I want to talk to. Several years ago, I went so far as to email her mother’s work address, asking her to help us get in touch, but got no response. I had no idea where she was or what she was doing, but hen, a few weeks ago, I found Micaela on Facebook and sent her a message. Finally, she responded.
She wrote a bit about our shared experiences and then added, Congratulations on having KIDS! I hear that changes everything…
I read that and felt a little like throwing up. After the week I’d just had, it seemed so painfully true. Everything has changed. Everything continues to change. And as motherhood molds and shapes me, I continue to change, as well. I hope my friendships will weather the changes, too.