Yesterday I had some errands to run that took me close to a friend's house. We have been meaning to get together, so I emailed her and planned to stop by.
I met Jocelyn when Henry was a baby. Her daughter was born just a couple of days before him, and we met at the baby group. We bonded over our birth stories and went out for coffee once or twice after group. When Henry was in the hospital, she stayed in touch through the Care Page and email. When Henry died, she came to the funeral. We talked once, and that was that. I'm not faulting her; she is somebody I chose not to stay in touch with for a time. While I liked her as a person, we had not known each other that long and I thought of her as a mommy friend, somebody I'd visit with while the kids played. I just didn't know how to have that relationship without Henry there.
When she found out I was pregnant, she emailed me excited to say that she was pregnant too and also due in December. My first thought was that this was a second chance to try out this friendship. My second thought was how can I do this? How can I see her knowing there should be two May 2007 babies and two December 2008 babies.
Her son was born the day before Kathleen. Yesterday, I met him for the first time. I wondered again how it would be to see Jocelyn and her two babies so close in age to my two. Sometimes I think too much.
Our visit was so easy. We compared baby size and watched them on the blanket together. We talked about how much they were eating and sleeping. We compared this birth to the last. It seemed so natural.
Perhaps best of all is that she not only knows about Henry, she knows Henry. I could say "with my first pregnancy" or "when Henry was born" and not have to explain. She said his name as if he were just at daycare like her daughter. It was so natural.
So often I worry and try to prepare for the things I expect to be hard and it's usually something else that catches me in the end. But yesterday, nothing caught me. We had an easy, natural visit. Maybe another visit, seeing her daughter, will be hard, but I am glad we got a second chance and glad I took it. It was a quick little visit. It shouldn't have been a big deal, yet I made it out to one. And it turned out to be so natural.