I spent a relaxing, enjoyable day with an old friend yesterday. She lives about 45 minutes away from me and, while it's relatively close, we might as well live hours and hours away for the amount of time we get to spend together. After a few traded emails, we decided the time had come for us to get together. Since she had moved to a new home on the lake, I volunteered to come to her. When we chose the day it was weeks ago... and snowing. My friend said that she hoped maybe we'd have good weather. At the time that sounded about as likely as me going for a swim.
We couldn't have ordered more perfect weather. And her youngest and my youngest got along like they had known each other all their lives. They promptly disappeared to play and we chatted and chatted and chatted-- catching up on each other's lives. She made us a delicious pasta lunch with fruit on the side. It was a lunch grown ups would eat. (The kids got dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets.) After lunch we sat on her beautiful porch that overlooked the lake and talked some more. The view was spectacular, the company great, the weather perfect and the conversation inspiring. We talked of our lives now versus our lives then. She's become a photographer. I've become a writer. When we met we were young moms who had no idea what we wanted-- except maybe one full night's sleep.
We talked about the changes in both of us since that time, and in our marriages, our families. She said that her mom recently said that she seems happier now that she's got her own business. We decided it's not really that we are happier because of our outside interests-- but more because we are less overwhelmed by our children's needs. The years where our lives were spent chasing and tending and wiping are behind us. Now we fret about different things-- college plans and boy/girl relationships and social issues. But we fret while seated.
We are still moms, just different kinds of moms than those frazzled, frantic moms we once were. We are more settled, more certain. There was a time when we both thought those years of raising little ones would never end and yet, as we marveled, it somehow did. We are not those same moms, but we are-- made better, stronger, wiser for having endured. Only someone that "knew you when" can fully appreciate the scope of how far you've come. Yesterday we celebrated the distance we've both covered.