Throughout my teens I was part of a ‘gang’ of four girls. Four inseparable friends who did everything together and three of us were even in the same class at school. We would spend most of our lessons sneaking notes to each other about potential boyfriends (or crushes, more like) and had developed our own kind of sign language so communication could never be hindered, not even during lessons, exams or Mass. We would flock together in between lessons and during lunch breaks, we’d walk home together and about an hour later we’d start phoning each other. I distinctly remember four-hour long telephone calls (this was before rates per minute were introduced) during which we’d talk about everything and nothing, watch tv together (and end up crying with laughter at some of the adverts on Italian channels) and dream about the weekends. The weekends were also spent with us four stuck at the hip, obviously. We even had our own group name…LLMM, the initials of our first names. It was like Sex and The City, only without the sex and our city was not New York, but the capital of our island with its grand population of 6000.
Then life happened. We all moved to the larger island with two of us going to University and the other two working and studying in different places. Our lives took different directions. One of us is now the mother of two beautiful children living in our old ‘city’ again and works in a bank. She is the one I’m still closest to. She’s one of the Ls. The other L lives on the larger island and has been happily married for the past 9 years and the other M lives in America with her husband of 10 years and is a successful engineer. We never forgot our years together, the adventures we shared (we had our fair share of these…hard to imagine in a place like this, but we did) and the sense of sisterhood that united us during our formative years.
Then last night I go to check my emails before going to bed and what do I find? Two messages – one from the L on the other island and one from the M in the USA. Guess what? They are both expecting their first child, within weeks from each other! I cried for joy. I had been waiting and hoping for these news for years and when I finally do, they arrive within minutes of each other! What are the chances? As I said before, both friends have been married for a number of years and I know that for both of them it was a matter of finding the ‘right’ moment or circumstances to start thinking about having a family.
2010 seems to be the year to conceive in my circle of friends. I have another two friends who are expecting and both are newly married. Some of you will remember my feelings about having a second child. Well, a few weeks ago I decided that if it has to happen it will happen and that I would stop thinking about it. I am trying my very best not to think about babies but it’s proving to be harder than I thought. Do you blame me?!