Today, I spoke to a dear friend of mine. I met her about 16 years ago (YIKES) when we were both teachers at a most wonderful little elementary school in the bucolic hamlet of Groveland, MA. She taught special education; I was a reading specialist. Our paths luckily converged, and today we are two hot moms in the primes of our lives and careers. Well, she is hot. I am mostly just a funny sidekick.
Through the years, we kept in touch and our daughters were fast friends. Since she grew up in Massachusetts, she gave me the inside scoop on where all the good beaches are. She is also perpetually of good cheer, hope, and encouragement. Her book turned into a business, Mom's Lifesavers, which launched a career that didn't even exist 16 years ago - something none of us could have foreseen - as a social media genius. And I just published the book that she encouraged and nagged me to write for years (insert shameless plug - click HERE to buy my fabulous novel). I have since moved to Indiana, but still remember my Massachusetts days with much fondness, in large part because of her.
At one point in our conversation today, we laughed at our twenty-something selves and how seriously we took everything. We also were foolish enough to make plans and (HA!) expect that those plans would actually happen. Our daughters were born about 6 months apart. She went on to quickly have another daughter, and I waited three years before birthing twin boys. There is nothing that will knock you off track more than a passel of kids! All of a sudden, I found myself talking about sippy cups and strollers and diaper bags with my friends. These things were SO IMPORTANT. Then, I blinked, and realized my oldest will be able to drive a CAR in a little over a year, and I realize that sippy cups and strollers and diaper bags don't matter so much, because soon my baby will be able to DRIVE A CAR.
We chatted some about how life is so unpredictable, and how pleased we are to be able to embrace it. I don't know that either of us would've had the nerve to put ourselves out there back lo those many years ago. But there is a reason we met, and a reason why people enter our lives at different points. Who knows what things would be like if we had never met? If she hadn't made me feel confident, funny, competent, and smart every time I saw her? If we didn't make the effort to keep in touch?
I would love to go back to my twenty-something self and tell her not to take herself so seriously. That her life, while bumpy sometimes, will be pretty decent when she's forty-five. But then I realize that not only would twenty-something-year-old me never believe that I could ever be forty-five, but she'd also write it off as an old person trying to tell her stuff that she knows better about. Right now, I am just content to be where I am in life - a wife, mother, teacher, writer, and actor (yes, I am very dramatic, in case you didn't notice). I am relaxed and ready for the next ebbs and flows that come my way, and hopeful that I'm finally on the cusp of superstardom. Never stop dreaming...
Courtney is a most fabulous writer and teacher of gifted middle school students. She is the author of two novels - see the "Cate Books" page of this site for information! Watch for updates about future books that need to be part of your personal library. In the meanwhile, enjoy her pithy life observations.