catching up

last night, we had a couple over for dinner at our house.

it was my friend kristen and her husband brian. now, kristen I have known since first grade and through jr high and high school, we were inseparable. she was a rock when I found out I was pregnant (we agreed to go to the same college) and was like a second dad to trent when he was born. I say "dad" because that was more the dynamic she had with him. anyways, she's a really special person to me and has been for 25 years now.

sean's known brian since freshman year of college. they were college roommates and kept in touch even after brian left millersville.

it might seem like a weird twist of fate that my best friend growing up and sean's first college roommate wound up married. nope - not unless "fate" is mine and sean's middle name. and I'm sure our friends are tired of hearing it, but it was a big accomplishment that we brought them together. we told kristen that we had a guy in mind that would be perfect for her, and didn't tell brian a thing, and had them both over for dinner a few years ago. we unashamedly threw them together on the couch while we watched, of all things, deliverance. their hands touched when they both pet our dog at the same time, and, well, the rest is history. they married in july of 04 and are now pregnant. it's been wonderful to watch them grow together.

the thing I am most excited about, though, is the fact that kristen...well, to say it this way makes it seem like I am way ahead of everyone and that I'm like all high and mighty and stuff. but it's the way I've always thought of it so I hope no one gets upset when I say it's that kristen is catching up.

I think I may have said something like this when nicole got pregnant, too. having kristen reach this milestone had a weird effect on me. I was thinking about it last night and I think what it is is that I have always been comparing my life with hers. she's got a pretty great thing going on - she graduated from college (the college I was set to go to before I found out about trent) and has a great job. her parents are wonderful people - when I was an outcast with my family for a while, her parents invited me over for christmas and thanksgiving dinners and still send me and my kids cards for holidays. (in fact, they came to my wedding and bella's birthday party.) she has a nice house, a great husband, and life is really treating her well. she's got a lot of confidence and is well respected. she's someone I have always measured myself against, even though our lives are so different. not measured in the sense that I was trying to be as good as her or as happy as her, but I guess I just envisioned that she was living the life that I might have had, had things not turned out differently for me. I love trent and am grateful for his being here, but I'd be lying if I said that I didn't often wonder what things would be like if I had not been blessed with him when I was...and for me, that meant kristen's life.

so for a long time, I have been waiting for kristen's life to look more like mine - I guess in some way it's to prove to myself that I have come a long way and that the things that seemed to matter 13 years ago may not be as important now. and since she's pregnant, I am thrilled for her and feel like things are finally getting caught up. I have always carried a tremendous amount of guilt around over how things turned out for me (and again, I have to stress that it's me I was disappointed in and not trent) and this has served to ease that for me for some reason.

trent turns 13 tomorrow. I wouldn't want my life any other way, and I know that now. but it's somehow liberating to me that my would-be doppleganger is catching up, and maybe now, I can put aside some of my baggage and enjoy my life as it is instead of as it might have been.

9 validations:

Kodi said...

Good news for Kristen. This is the first time I've ever heard of a couple actually marrying that were "set up" by friends. Very cool.
I know how you feel about the could have beens. They are not really regrets, but just musings of how different life would have been. I had my life planned out to go to graduate school, and never even thought about marriage. Then Kiri came along, and things changed drastically. I don't regret it, but there are goals in my life that I have yet to accomplish.

Missuz J said...

You little Cupid you.

I love the honesty of this post. Happy birthday to Trent.

the beige one said...

enjoy my life as it is instead of as it might have been.

That's seriously kick-ass. Living any other way is too much to endure, honestly.

juliloquy said...

Beautiful, honest post.

thelyamhound said...

This is really lovely.

I want whatever you're taking that allows you to enjoy your life as it is. I'm getting better about that, but it's an endless chore sometimes. Funny thing is, I don't think I would have been particularly happy in the life I'd envisioned for myself, either; rather, I think I sometimes pine for a life that doesn't really exist (at least not yet--despite media hype to the contrary, I AM young yet).

I completely lost touch with my freshman year roommate. I miss that guy. Sadly, I don't really have enough information about him to track him down.

lonna said...

Happy Birthday Trent! Wow, 13.

Ethan and I were set up by friends too. They are still amazed that it worked and that we have a kid. Funny stuff.

I wish that we could live with where are too. It just seems like it could be so much better. I'm trying.

KATIEmagic said...

That was beautifully said. It's so nice that you're enjoying watching her grow.

NME said...

Nice post.

Parenthood is definitely more fun when you can share it with friends- and it's exciting when anyone I know is going to have a baby. But I know it is a million times more exciting for you since you've always been so close.

Just don't forget about us, okay?

Stine said...

Patrice, you mind if I ask what the specifics of what happened with Trent? Do you have a post on it somewhere?