Disclaimer: If there are weird line breaks in here, it’s because wordpress isn’t letting me edit stuff! I don’t mean them personally (I’m sure they’re very nice people). But for some reason, my laptop adds in weird line spaces (not to mention taking out paragraph breaks) and at first I could edit it but now I can’t. Why? It’s one of life’s mysteries. Be content; you can’t know everything.
Yesterday, I met Wackymommy (www.wackymommy.org Why, WordPress, oh why won’t you let me do the link correctly?) and she bought me lunch. (She’s so nice) I had a truly wonderful spinach salad with spicy walnuts and pink grapefruit on it. I’m not sure you care, but believe me, this is not something available at Mauritanian restaurants. It also had bacon and red onions. Yum. And Stumptown coffee to follow—this means nothing to you non-Portlanders out there, I realize, but trust me—it’s good coffee.
WackyMommy is a friend of mine from college. We met at the offices of the Vanguard student newspaper at Portland State University many years ago, in a galaxy far, far away. She looks terrific—younger than I do, even though she is actually older. Guess there are advantages to keeping your face out of the Saharan sun. It was great to see her and catch up on all the things we don’t put on our blogs.
Last week, we had dinner with another old college friend—this one from a smaller one called Multnomah. It was fun catching up with our lives, comparing notes, seeing kids. He’s writing books now, which is exactly what we both wanted to do way back when.
And, we are actually staying with my oldest friend (as in length of time, not age, yadda yadda). Heather and I met as college freshmen. We were both 17 (we both have fall birthdays), both energetic and talkative. We used to stay up all night just talking. Now, of course, as responsible mothers, we…um…still stay up talking, not to mention when we take our cups of coffee and go up in their treehouse to hide from all the children, so we can talk in peace. They have a great treehouse. But we don’t laugh hysterically and uncontrollably for hours anymore…at least, not often. Now we watch our daughters, ages 10 and 9, giggle and giggle and giggle. They, like us, are best friends.
This is an awesome family. We are all crammed into their house—which is literally bulging out the sides, with 13 of us in here, but they are gracious hosts. I thanked them by backing into their gate and taking out a section of their fence, but even then they didn’t get mad or kick us out.
My husband is having a lot of fun with this. “We’re leaving, whether the gate is open or not!” he announces. Or, “She had a hard time cramming 5 ½ feet of car into 16 feet of gate.” At least we’re all laughing about it.
I was thinking about the funny way life turns out. Take Heather and I. If you’d said to us back when we were 18 or so, “One of you will have 6 children and the other 3” it would have been a no-brainer—I would have assumed I’d be the one with the large family. I grew up almost as an only child—my brothers are so much older than I am. I longed for siblings, and I thought I’d like to have a large family. I worked at a daycare as one of my many and varied college jobs, and I was more likely than Heather to offer babysitting services.
But by the time I was in my 20s, I had noticed something about myself—I liked children, and then they went home. That was how I wanted it. I like quiet. I need time to myself. Ok, I don’t get a lot of it with 3 kids so close in age, but we also all like quiet time reading, or the kids often play upstairs in their rooms while I write on the computer.
Heather, on the other hand, wasn’t especially fond of children. But I watch her now, calmly dealing with her 6, and I’m amazed. She’s fantastic at motherhood. I love her children, and I’m so glad that my kids have them as friends.
Or, if you’d said, you with your strange future knowledge back in the 80s, “Which of you will work overseas in a hot country?” our answer would have been immediate and unequivocal—Heather. She liked sun; I never complained on grey, cloudy days. I was interested in other cultures, and have always followed international news to one extent or another, but Heather actually planned to work overseas. But somehow, we switched; she once went to Papua New Guinea for 6 weeks and hated it, while I have been a global nomad for 5 years and have no intention of stopping now.
So life is weird. But we knew that. We’re not making any future predictions, but we are pretty sure of one thing—our friendship can (and has) survive anything!