T: Amazing Husband ST: Three-year-old Wonder Prof. G: Advisor I Prof. C: Advisor II Julie: Stylish Sister Rob: Awesome Brother Belle: Our Cat Bill: Grumbling BIL Rita: Uncomplicated SIL SMU: Smallish Midwestern University Doctoral University: where I got my Ph.D.
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Quote of the Day
Thursday, June 15, 2006
In the fall of 2002, I was working outside in my yard when the woman who lived next door to me, Corinne, stopped by to chat. It was fun to talk with her, since she wasn't usually outside often and I didn't know much about her or her husband. In fact, although we'd lived next door to each other for a full year, we'd never been inside each other's houses or even knew each other's last names. Corinne and I started a long conversation about teaching (she's an elementary school teacher and I was about to embark on my first TA assignment), and before long T and Corinne's husband Ben joined in and the conversation wandered to other topics.
Before long, three hours had passed. It was dark. We were all still outside, talking and laughing, and Ben and T had wandered inside for a beer while Corinne and I admired each other's flower gardens and traded tips. I invited her inside my house, and soon the four of us were gathered around our dining room table, just like we'd known each other all of our lives.
Ben and Corinne are so much like T and me it's uncanny. For starters, we were married on the exact same day in the same year and at the same time (June 19, 19999 at 2:00pm) in a Catholic church. Corinne and I are Catholic; T and Ben are Lutheran. Corinne has a sister who is the same age as my brother Rob. Before ST was born, T and I used to go to the movies at least once a month, and invariably we'd find Corinne and Ben at the same movie on the same day, sitting just across from us. We'd run into them at the same stores. Corinne and I have showed up to occasions more than once wearing the same outfit, or very similar clothes. Ben and T work a block from each other. We bought our new cars on the same day, completely unexpectedly (even now, we have identical Hondas -- same year, same color). When they moved, it was only across the cul-de-sac, and Corinne will still sometimes wave to me from her kitchen window as she's preparing dinner. To top it off, Corinne and I found out we were pregnant on the same day, and ST was born just three days after Corinne's daughter M (ST's best friend). In fact, ST was born on M's due date.
It's safe to say that Corinne, Ben, and M are our best friends here. Getting together with them is completely stress-free and always fun.
Ever since the month after ST and M were born, Corinne and I have been getting together every Wednesday during the summer for long, leisurely lunches and playtime for the kids. This is our fourth summer together. We trade off hosting, and the host provides a no-fuss lunch and dessert and a tolerance for a messy living room as the kids drag out every toy they own. We usually meet late in the morning and are rarely home before 4:00pm. It is a lovely way to spend the day.
Yesterday was our first summer lunch meeting of this year. ST and M don't get to see each other much during the school year, since they go to daycares in different towns, and so yesterday they were bouncing off walls with excitement to be in each other's company again. And for me to be "reunited" with Corinne after a long winter was heavenly. We never run out of things to say, never run out of "I can't believe my husband did XYZ," or "My mother-in-law is driving me nuts" stories. She is one person I can honestly say I never grow tired of, someone I could talk to for hours every day.
Corinne and Ben had another baby this January, lovely baby Eva who looks just like her dad. When Corinne told me she was pregnant last summer, I was thrilled for her and also a little sad, since I knew that this time, we wouldn't be sharing our pregnancies. I told her about my sadness, and how I felt like our paths were starting to diverge ever so slightly. She agreed, and we cried a little about it, not knowing what the future would hold. This past December, as we all rung in the New Year together, we told Corinne and Ben that we were moving to Midwestern State. That same sadness came over us all -- the paths were diverging even further. "Even when I don't see you for weeks," Corinne said, "it's always just so nice to look over at your house and know that you're there." I know. I know.
I am 100% certain that Corinne and I will be friends for the rest of our lives. A lot of my friendships have been "disposable," in that they were fun while they lasted but they weren't worth the effort to keep up when one half of the friendship moved away (usually me). But with Corinne, the connection we share is so complete that I cannot bear the thought of never speaking to her again. I'm sad at the thought that I won't be here to see M -- who I've known since the hour after she was born -- and ST go to school together. I'm sad that I won't see Baby Eva grow up month by month. Time is passing too quickly.
For now, I am etching the sweet memories of Corinne and her family onto my brain, savoring every moment of our relaxing summers together. We will certainly get together after we move -- our home here is only five hours away from our home in New Town -- but it will never be the same. Like everything else about my life in just a few short weeks, nothing will be the same again.