There are moments in my life that stick in my head so fresh I can't help but recall them like they happened yesterday... like walking into my friend Melissa's house 20 years ago and marveling over her baby, Kaisha, and thinking how minuscule my adult-like endeavors seemed next to this enormous experience of having a child.
Melissa and I met when we were seven, in the second grade. Her folks moved into house a mile north of ours. We sometimes met in the middle of the field between our two houses, always careful to avoid the pasture that had the bull. More memorable was when we were both old enough to drive, which happens for country kids a bit earlier than kids who live in town. Stick to the dirt roads and you could usually convince the parents to let you visit a neighbor.
Melissa and I suffered long hours together on the yellow school bus. I watched out my window in the early morning hours for the bus to turn at her corner. That's how I kept the time I spent waiting at the end of the drive in the dark at a minimum.
We grew up side by side, like sisters, only we didn't actually live together, and we probably didn't take the time, often enough, to appreciate the gift of friendship we gave to one another. We made our way, sometimes independently, but often together, through junior high and high school. Then I moved away and Melissa got married and baby Kaisha came along. I stopped in every holiday or visit home to take a peek, to marvel at her beauty and how much she had grown.
Last weekend, I held Kaisha's baby in my arms. My friend Melissa is a grandma now, which means somehow, in this mysterious passing of time and age, I am entering yet another stage of adulthood. Kaisha is the first baby I held in my arms--from the perspective of something more than a child myself--that now has a baby of her own.
I have younger cousins whom I remember as babies who now have children, but they are really just slightly younger people from my generation. I was just an awkward babysitter when they were little, but when I met Kaisha I was really began to understand that I had a place in this world outside of childhood. She was a possibility made real.
Kaisha and Roo.
Tracy and Melissa ~ Granny types?
Melissa, Tracy and Carol (Melissa's Mom) in 1978