There are just some things in life that come without any warning. There is no explanation, no “how to” manual, no preparation.
Like attending the birthday party of a beautiful little one year old boy. Whose Momma is the childhood friend of your first born child. In a room full of people you knew when they were teething. Who are now cuddling their own babies on their laps.
I went to just such a party this weekend, and it was lovely! The little guy was happy, healthy, sweet and smiling. He was happy to thrust both chubby little hands into the home made cake that his Mommy placed on his highchair tray. His loving Auntie snapped photos and his Uncle laughed from across the room. And I smiled and cheered and watched him with joy.
And I wondered what the hell hell has happened to the past 20 years.
You see, the Grandma of this sweet boy (who is MUCH YOUNGER than me….just sayin’) is one of the first friends that I made in this town, back when my young family moved here 23 years ago. I met her at a “Daisy Girl Scouts” meeting, where our five year old daughters were learning to do crafts and make little treats. We waited for the meeting to end, and she introduced herself to me in the hallway outside of the meeting room. I held my 3 month old son in my arms, and she was pregnant and soon to deliver her third child.
Our girls became friends, our boys became friends, and she and I became great friends. Over all of these years, we have shared birthday parties, bouts of strep, school vacations, the teen years and the college application process. None of that really bothered me until yesterday.
There I stood, happily rocking a sweet, blonde five month old girl in my arms. Looking on as her Mommy chatted with my daughter. Her Mommy….whom I first met when she was six……!!!!
The room was filled with young adults and their babies, but all I could think was, “Wait!!!! You guys are the babies……!”
What the hell.
There has been nothing in my life so far that has prepared me for a room full of children taking care of their children. For God’s sake! I knew those Mommies when they didn’t know how to tie their own shoes! I knew those Daddies when they were crying because they lost a tooth! I cheered them on through elementary school plays, and high school concerts and more sporting events than I could begin to count!
I knew them with braces, and zits and awkward teenaged romances! I knew them before they could drive……. Hey, I knew them when they needed binkies of their own to fall asleep.
I stood there yesterday, in the beautiful home of that beautiful young Mother, smiling at her beautiful child.
And all I could think of was, “What the hell happened?”
How did I miss the last 20 years, and why didn’t anyone prepare me for this moment?