I walked into the mall with a vague sense of where I was going. I knew that there was an indoor playground area for kids to run around in, and I dimly remembered seeing it one of the times I was in there. I found it quickly enough for never having taken my kids to it. I am not that social and often avoid public play areas for kids - I’m just too shy, too awkward.
She said she’d be there. “I have red hair now,” and she was right. I couldn’t miss her hair, but was that her? The girl I met when I was fourteen years old? The girl who I’ve been through everything with? The one who I’ve had hateful arguments with and also the one with whom I declared that Thursdays were our macaroni and cheese nights? The girl who turned me onto some of my favorite books and who I could admit that I loved Laguna beach to?
Yes. It was her. We hugged and then sat back and viewed the one thing that we hadn’t yet gone through together. Being parents.
It happens frequently, I suppose. Conversations shift towards children and how our lives are altered by them. Milestones in development, genetics that make up their hair color, it all gets talked about.
At the end of the day, when we were saying goodbye, it struck me how much didn’t get talked about and I began to miss her already. It was the first time in ten months that I had spent time with someone other than a family member and it hit me like a punch in the stomach. I need this. I need my friends. I can’t let time go on too long or a distance that big come between us again. I missed her and the casual comfort that we so quickly fall into when we are together. She is one of those people that it never seems to matter if I’ve been away from her for two weeks or two years because when we meet again it’s as if no time has passed at all. There no awkward getting-to-know-you conversation that we have to endure before the real stuff pours out. There’s no making ourselves appear as if we’re better than what we are, and no poor-mouthing ourselves either for that matter. We just simply are who we are and we accept it and love it.
I feel a little bit more whole again and in a strange way I have began to wonder how many pieces I was in in the first place.