In the last year, my two dear friends who live in the UK both had little girls. It was so strange to be on the other side of the world as they went through this massive life experience. There was no seeing their belly grow, feeling the baby kick, visiting in hospital, bringing around freezer meals like there has been for my local friends. Photos and emails were wonderful, but they just aren't the same as being there.
On Sunday I got to meet Bess (and learn how to get my car out of a mud bog) and then in a piece of amazing timing yesterday I got to meet Adelaide. It is funny how the world works, that two friends from the other side of the globe would end up here in the same week.
I have been friends with Bess and Adelaide's mothers for so long that the minute we meet up we settle right back into that easy friendship. Catching up on all the big life events so quickly turns into every day gossip. But at the same time, this huge change in their lives, encapsulated by the presence of a very small person, has happened.
Suddenly the girls I knew have become mothers and not seeing that pregnancy transition has made it all the more amazing. They are still those same girls who I've laughed and cried with, got waaaay too drunk and danced the night away with in the past. But they are also women with husbands and children and that mother's instinct that means they have developed that Mum radar that has them one step ahead of the rest of us when it comes to children.
Growing up is a strange thing. It creeps upon you gradually. You find yourself with responsibilities, with skills, with experiences and wonder how it all happened. Our lives change and grow and develop and yet it is rare that we notice it happening. Every now and then I do something like unlock the front door and think "wow, I bought this" or do some maths and realise I've been out of school for longer than I was in it. Seeing my friends with their new baby girls in the last few days is another of those wow moments, we really are growing up.
I love reflecting on how we have grown and changed. The amazing things we have done (if you ask me having a baby is pretty damn amazing), the lives we have built. But most of all, I love that despite it all, we are still the same friends we have always been - just with a few extra accessories.