I talked to my mentee last night. She had her first interaction with life as a single parent yesterday and she was totally upset. She is really still a kid, and it is hard work taking care of a baby when all you want to do is hang out with your friends. It is obvious that she loves the child, but I think she is seeing the other side of having a child attached to you with all it's needs and wants for the next 18 years. I reminded her that she still has choices, but that she should get some sleep and think on it all a bit.
I have an awesome friend that I haven't seen much in the last 4 years. She has been in medical school and sometimes she has a tough time dealing with the stress of school, kids and life, so she withdraws from anything she doesn't have to do. That includes me most of the time. You might think that is harsh, but we've talked about it--talked about it before hand, actually. I miss my friend and there have been a few rough patches when it would have been nice to have someone to talk to and she wasn't available. I got used to it though, and I think it made me a stronger person, to learn another's boundaries and how to work through things on my own (that took a bit of work too, and I ran at the mouth to a couple of people that I shouldn't have at one point or another). We do still spend time together, but it is only about 4-6 times a year. Enough back story, to the point.
Last week, when I was sitting at Canal Street Coffee after my long bike ride, I looked around and found her in everything. I saw several women who looked like her, lithe and athletic, with long golden brown hair and big sunglasses. I felt her in the sunshine and the coolness of the shade. I heard her laughter as I watched other friends chatting over their lattes. The whole thing reminded me of when we were undergrads together, sitting in her front lawn watching the kids play ball or just sitting and talking. Of our bike rides to Magnuson and our swim practices at Meadowbrook. Our easy coexistance. That was before we were roommates, before our boyfriends, before our kids turned into teenagers.
I sent her a text that day, telling her that I miss her. I didn't hear back that day, but about a week later I got the sweetest voice mail that told me she is feeling the same. She is almost done with medical school and is working for a year before she starts her residency. I am looking forward to sitting on the lawn again, watching our teens have water fights and become friends like us, chatting about nothing and everything.