Today, I’m feeling maladjusted to this new phase of my life. I planned for it, worked for it, and now that it’s here, it feels like a sneak attack. Today was odd and beautiful.
It was just the type of day that you wake up late to a missed call and text from a best friend. You don’t have to read the words that go along with the picture she’s sent you: she’s wearing a gorgeous heirloom diamond ring on her left hand and there’s lots of exclamation marks. And you are so, so happy for her, and wish she wasn’t 2500 miles away, so that you could squeeze her, because you know she’s giddy and she’d probably laugh in that cackling sort of way she does when she’s really, really happy.
But then, after you hang up, all you can think about is being 14, 15, 16 years old, and the way you used to stay up on AIM all night working on homework. You think about when the two of you got your driver’s licenses, and how she’d go 39 in a 40 just to be safe. You think about the Weezer concert you went to, and the Halloween you dressed up like two of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Later in the afternoon, I met a long-time friend for coffee at my favorite Phoenix coffee shop. We chatted about memories, politics, significant others, careers. Again, I felt old, if that’s even the right word, because I know I’m not old. But there we were, two friends who met when we were in high school, went through college together, and were seeing each other, nearly eight years from that beginning, for coffee. He’s engaged and looking into becoming an adjunct faculty member at the community college. I’m a married-mom-teacher. We own houses.
Tonight, I took Carter to my friend Katie’s one-year old’s birthday party. I’ve known Katie since we were seven. We were raised together. I had Carter four months after her daughter was born, and now she’s working on her second.
It was maybe the best birthday party I’ve ever been to. It was a ladybug picnic. There were kids in swimsuits everywhere, eating hotdogs and potato salad and watermelon. There must’ve been a half dozen or more other babies there, plus two or three expectant moms.
It felt like the types of parties I went to growing up, only now I was struggling to simultaneously carry a blanket, a purse, a diaper bag, a camera, and a carseat, and that in itself made the day come full circle.
PS — Katie, there are more pictures on Flickr (there’s a link in the right sidebar).