Girlhood. Momhood. Lifehood.
Insights on navigating the craziness of life with young kids one — “large coffee with skim please” — day at a time.

Hand Picked

  • Twilight
    OK, so my friend introduced me to this series of books and I’m HOOKED. Romance and suspense meets a bit of sci-fi. A total “read 100 pages without stopping” book.
  • Happy Feet, Fun Music
    So this soundtrack really is great..for you, and for the kids. You can dance, you can sing, you can shake your groove thing.

No Man is an Island

June 27th, 2008

This past weekend I got in my car very early on Sunday morning and drove a couple of hours south to Cape Cod. I hopped on a high speed ferry and docked a short time later, much to my delight, on Nantucket. This is a place I’ve grown to love over the years. There’s a feeling you get when you walk the cobblestone streets and pass houses once occupied by whaling captains that is just very romantic. It’s now heavily populated with tourists and expensive shops and restaurants, but the aura of this magical island, I think, is still there.

This trip has started to become an annual thing. I am here to see Pauline. I’ve known her since I was 18, and despite the ups and downs we’ve weathered through life changes, our friendship has stood the test of time. We spent every waking moment together in college and I think I know as much about her as I do any member of my family. Now, I only see her only once or twice a year at best.

When the ferry pulls in, I see the familiar tall frame with its confident gait and brunette hair as I walk down the plank, breaking into a jog to give her a big hug. We walk, we talk, we reconnect as if a week, not months, have gone by. We shop in the gift shops, we chat over a long lunch on Main Street. We eventually meander our way through the streets to the house she’s rented with her husband and extended family. I greet her parents, siblings, nieces and nephews. They instantly make me feel like I belong here.

Later in the afternoon Pauline and I sneak off to the back guest house, our favorite spot for the really good girl talk. As we sit lounging and laughing and even crying occasionally, I realize I feel very relaxed, and rejuvenated. Our conversation weaves in and out between topics big and small. We talk about the differences in our lives, where we’ve been, and where we’re going. I feel the history of our friendship as we sit there, in a cottage, on an island, with nearly 20 years behind us and the years yet to come, outstretched in front of us like the nearby ocean.

Eventually we have to leave our coveted spot and come in for dinner to the lively banter around the table. There are jokes over who cooked the meal, who has to do the dishes, who always tries to avoid it, who’s going fishing in the morning, and who’s leading the poker game later. As I take my seat next to Pauline, I pull my chair in and realize my knee is right up against a leg of the table, an instant reminder that I’m an add-on to this annual gathering of three generations. But I don’t mind. Across from me Pauline’s nephew is making cute animal sounds in his highchair. Her dad is offering wine. Her brother-in-law is passing the steak around. I sit back and take it all in.

It’s a poignant reminder that I am incredibly lucky to have Pauline and grateful for the short visits we have each year. Our day-to-day worlds are different and geographically far apart, but we are woven into the fabric of each other’s lives. We are connected, I hope, forever.

As the ferry pulls away the next morning, I feel sadder than I normally do when I leave the island. But I peer out the window and wave goodbye, for now, to the treasure that I found 20 years ago.

And she is standing on the edge of the dock, waving back.

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