Looking up just as she walked in. Professionally attired; black jacket, purple blouse, with a professional pin on her lapel holding the folder in her arm. Adjusting my Lands End rain coat, on the sunny day, our smiles meet. It has been sometime since I last saw Amanda, but since the inception of Facebook our friendship has been rekindled.
Working for the wonderful world of Non-Profit Public Relations, a recent fundraising campaign included swimming has been her most recent project. To my surprise, an email had been sent asking me to meet to pick my brain for ideas.
I will admit, I was hesitant at first mainly because it has been just under four years since I last used my brain.
Okay, that's not completely true.
Sure, I use my brain daily. In the realm of parenthood, decisions need to made over which toy would be less annoying for the Easter baskets or how long is it appropriate to let a child cry it out in their crib when they obviously are exhausted but continue to cry.
Other times, I flex this muscle (it's a muscle right?) as I search for the perfect words to formulate my posts here, be it relaying a particularly funny antidote or completing a weekly writing prompt. Writing and editing has exercised portions of the brain.
But outside these two realms, I fear that those portions of my brain that I used in the working world might have turned into grey mush and died.
What different worlds Amanda and I now live.
She the professional, running from office to event. Teaching undergraduate courses, and networking with important people.
Me the full time mom. Pulling up in the minivan littered with stuffed animals and lollipop wrappers. Running from swim lessons to doctors appointments, and talking it out at the playground.
I would be lying if I didn't admit I was worried that this lunch would be a huge failure.
That since my tenure as competitive swimmer had long since ended, I would not be able to help.
That we would sit there, staring at each other after the initial "How are you?" talk was over, waiting for the food.
That my time as a mom had negatively impacted my ability to adequately converse with someone over a topic outside of motherhood.
I feared I no longer resembled the person I was when I graduated college nearly twelve years ago.
Alas, we sat.
We laughed for nearly two hours.
All those reservations I had worrying that I had lost the person I used to be slowly dissolved over the course of our lunch.
That person who would leave the house at seven in the morning and not return until eight at night after commuting, teaching, graduate school and the commute home is long since gone. In her place stands me of now. The woman who plans ridiculous birthday parties, takes day trips to the beach, and spends close to every waking hour with her children. And apparently, unless Amanda was just feeding me bullshit, helped her out with this fundraiser.
It seems that my brain isn't completely mush after all.
Looking for something to do for the greater good this summer?
What about Swim For MS