December 27, 2011

Overwhelmed

A few days ago my friend became a mother.

I remember the day she got married. I stood beside her on the altar, my feet killing me as I tried to sniffle as softly as I could. The bridesmaids had been warned in no uncertain terms that crying was strictly forbidden, but emotion and love know no rules and I so I wept happy tears as one of the friends I loved most pledged to love and cherish a wonderful man. I was overwhelmed with happiness for her.

I remember driving to Florida with my family the next day, thoroughly exhausted from emotion, dancing and probably one too many glasses of wine at the reception. At some point we were talking about her wedding and I burst into tears, completely overcome. My friend was married; she was on her way to Hawaii for her honeymoon and on her way to starting a really different chapter in her life. I couldn't and still can't place a finger on what particular emotion that was. I imagine it was a mixture of bittersweet and joy, but since my typical response to any and all emotions, both known and unknown, is tears, I went ahead and cried.

In the time since her wedding day she has stood next to me and cried as I married Chris then flounced the train of my dress after. Two days after I called her to tell her I was having a little girl, she called me to tell me her father had passed away; we have laughed and cried, shared our good news and the unthinkable. She has rubbed my pregnant belly and held my new born daughter as Evie cried.

Then, last week I got a message: "Baby ___ is on the way!!!"

Again, I was overwhelmed. I was so happy for her, so excited and so full of joy, and again, because I cry, that is what I did. My friend was going to be a mother in a few short hours. It was a good feeling.

From first grade Sunday school, to sleepovers, youth group, cheerleading, family vacations, drivers licenses, different colleges and weddings we have been so much a part of each others lives, always picking up like nothing has passed, no changes have been made, and this year exactly nine months apart, we both became mothers. Maybe once the age difference levels out our babies will play in the sand in Florida together.

My friend is a mother, and a few days ago I felt her newborn son snuggle up to me as I held him in the hospital. As I rocked him we smiled at each other, a quiet moment amidst the action in the room. I didn't cry because I knew she would hate it, but it was a good feeling.