I attended Ate's baby shower this past weekend. Ate is my best friend's older sister, who is essentially my older sister hence the Filipino term of respect towards an older sister "Ate". Her name is Rosemarie :) Anyhow, she is having her first child and is 7 months along, so of course we are all uber excited to celebrate her new title in the making as Mommy.
The party was the normal type of filipino gathering. There were loads of food trays scattered and spread along the counter with delectable filipino dishes ranging from lumpia, pancit, palabot, kare kare, arescalgo, and the like. The usual gang was present, Aunty Perla and Uncle Rodel and the normal attendants from the local filipino community. Then some of their family from down the hill were present, as well as those from Las Vegas. Soon after, some of the Barstow locals began to funnel in and that's when it hit me...
I looked around and I couldn't help but notice where I was at in life. Here I was, sitting next to Chris, a married 27 year old graduate student back in my hometown celebrating the new life of an old friend's unborn child, with all of our friends that I grew up with. Except, we weren't all teenagers dressed in baggy jeans and t-shirts with ridiculous hair styles and awkwardly drawn in eyebrows and so forth.
No no, we were of that grown folk picture... sitting with our spouses, talking about our careers and jobs, grueling about child birth and labor, wiping runny noses and rocking infant children, shushing loud and un-tempered tantrum'd toddlers, verbally disciplining and so forth. The image was stunning...
Where did the time go?
I sat there basking in everyone's current situation. An old friend of mine's brother was there with his wife and three kids and they were quite the sight. They were keeping control of their toddler and ensuring the other two of theirs had enough food to eat, all the while talking about their current job situations. Another old friend was cooing her baby from a crying fit she was having being around a slew of unfamiliar faces. Then there was another couple seated quietly as they spoke about the time intervals of their newborn son's feeding schedule. Here I was talking about my schooling and being newly married and working out the kinks. My best friend spoke about interviewing for a new job that offered her a trip to Shanghai. My other best friend talking about her husband making the next rank in the army as an E7. Another friend wobbled around for her plate of food while 8 months pregnant. Just so cute and full of life!
It appeared to me that this is really what life was about. It seemed like only yesterday we were all in high school together, eating lunch at the benches, sharing food with each other, planning up Friday night activities after the football game and so forth. Somehow, it was refreshing to see that we all grew past that phase in life... and together as a whole. There are friends that don't hang with us anymore, but even that's okay because they have their own lives. I was just happy to see that after 10 years, we had all come to place in our lives where we could still get together, enjoy a meal, celebrate milestones, and continue friendships.
I loved that I could leave Chris with all the guys of the group and know that was genuinely in good company. It's so difficult these days to keep good people around because it always seems like good people are hard to find. But when I find them, I try to hold on to them - God willing they hold on to us as well, it always has to be mutual for me.
Thinking about this really just makes me feel like, while many times I feel like I'm still reaching a goal, I think I've stumbled across the accomplishment of one... having a solid foundation and support group. I'm so thankful for those around me that continue to be a part of my life - they continue to grow with me and that is something that I can't take for granted. I am thankful for my people who have enhanced my life and made me a better person, and I am thankful that we all go up together. It's more than I could have imagined for myself but I'm glad that I have it.
Boy am I tired. I think it's time for a nap before I make dinner for the hubby.
Mrs. New Muli