A month or so ago, Tim and I started attending a new church. We were talking with the pastor when he asked me where I used to live.
"You're not from around here," he said, referencing my lack of telltale Rhode Island accent. And he's right, though I haven't gotten a comment like that since I left college. Home is Connecticut, and thanks to the baby shower for one of me best friends from high school, the girls and I hopped in the car and I am blogging on location from my teenagehood living room.
The girls are in the other room, thrilled to be with their Boppa. Lily has taken up permanent residence on his lap, the older two are kicking a ball around while Skipper, the deaf West Highland terrier (and butt of many a joke, I am only somewhat ashamed to admit) attempts to join in. Mime will be home soon and my brother and his fiancee will arrive, and we'll spilt a traditional pizza.
Tomorrow I'll go drive practically into New York with Miss Lily and see someone I haven't seen since Mary was a year old. I've known her since I was 14 and it seems crazy that next year, I'll have been friends with her (and Anne, and Meg, my other partners in crime from high school) for longer than I haven't been. She flew home from Paris to be in my wedding (and flew back the next day to sit her finals), I was in hers at 36 or so weeks pregnant, looking like a big pink house. She brought home German story books from her trip to Switzerland for a soon-to-be born Mary, I've gone with a classic bear and A.A. Milne. To get in the spirit of nostalgia, I've brought my dvd copy of the stage version of The Phantom of the Opera. Our entire freshman year of high school, Kara and I were obsessed with all things Phantom and spent countless Friday nights watching various versions of the Gaston Leroux story (worst version? The Phantom of Manhattan. Don't Google it. Don't rent it. Run far away).
My girls don't understand why they're here, except that they get to spend tomorrow with my parents and that's good enough for them. Between work and rehearsal, I haven't been "home" in weeks and it's nice to be back.
I still remember the voice mail I got back in July from Kara. "I just wanted to tell you that we're pregnant at the same time," she said. Lily arrived a couple of weeks later and Kara's son will be here sometime next month. We did high school together, gossiped together, fought together (why did we stop speaking junior year? Neither of us remember why), compared state college war stories, stood up in each others' weddings, lost touch when our lives diverged - mine into motherhood, hers into law school - but always coming back together for the important moments. It's one of the things I cherish most about my three friends from high school - no matter how much time we're apart, it's never too long to remember why we're in each others' lives. Meg and I talk on the phone constantly, Anne and I get together at Christmas and she has somehow never forgotten any of my girls' birthdays or any of our inside jokes. (Tomorrow is Aardwolf Day!) Some of my best moments of senior year were spent with Anne (and on one memorable weekend, with her parents on our way to Pennsylvania to visit colleges and go to the zoo. Randomness, we have it).
I am very, very lucky and I hope one day my girls have the kinds of friends I do.
Here's to another next chapter.