I woke up confused. I knew where I was, but not how I got across the room from where I had fallen asleep, my blankets spread neatly under me. Did I sleep walk? Could I have laid my blankets this way if I had? I couldn’t remember.
Barbara was digging in her bag next to me. Out the window, the sky was light but cloudy. I asked Barbara for the time, and she told me it was about seven. We had one hour to get ready and get on the bus. The same amount of time I had slept.
That day was a Tuesday. Our high school orchestra group had been snowed in at Luther College the night before, and our bus was coming to get us back to school by noon. We were allowed an excused absence for the rest of the day when we got home – luckily, because I had stayed up all night the night before.
When I got out to the bus, someone was pounding a window. Garth waved to me emphatically as I passed, gesturing toward his seat. He had saved the only heated seat, just like he promised. I loaded my duffel bag and pillow into the back of the bus, and joined Garth on his bus seat, the heater blowing at our feet. This, I thought, would be a great friendship.
Seven years later, it still is.
I woke up this morning to my little baby tumbling inside me. I checked the time – 6:05. Garth slept soundly beside me, so I laid down and waited for his alarm. The baby hiccuped. I pushed her gently with my fingers and she pressed back, turning so I could rub her back. Already, she’s so snuggly, just like her dad.
I got to thinking about how time passes creepingly but also quickly. Eight months ago I found out I was pregnant, now I have a month left before I meet my daughter. Seven years ago I met a boy, now we’re married and so much has happened. I can’t help but look back in awe of just how much we’ve faced together in the last seven years – since that night we stayed up talking, too open, honest, vulnerable – and it astonishes me to think what may come in the next seven. Our story is a good one, one I could tell over and over again in different ways, and I’m sure I’ll write some of it here.
After all, as a writer, that’s what I really believe I’m here for: telling stories. Not just my story, but the story of others, the story of current events and time passed, the story of what holds all things together, the story of chaos, as well as my own. If nothing else, I want to make you feel more normal, maybe. And I really want to inspire others to tell their stories.