We reunited to celebrate missed birthdays and catch up on jobs, school, family and gossip after Trix returned from a month visiting her husband’s family in Albania.
It was a sunny fall day, and we ended up at a local farm, standing in line for a hayride as children picked pumpkins nearby.
Let’s get a photo, Trix said. Kate and I positioned ourselves in front of a large plastic giraffe as she went to hand my phone to a nearby woman before coming back and jumping in, flashing a smile for the camera.
The woman giggled as she counted down, “3 … 2 … 1 … Trix is pregnant!”
We laughed. We smiled. We hugged even tighter.
Then reality set in: My best friend is going to be a mom.
During my senior year at Penn State, Trix and I were inseparable. We met while working part time at a hotel. We begged managers to switch the schedule so we could always be at the front desk together. Co-workers called us Trixie and June — nicknames that, more than six years later, still stick.
When Trix got married in fall of 2011, it was an intimate beach ceremony with just her immediate family — and Kate and me.
We love to catch up over soup, salad and breadsticks with rapid-fire questions: “How is Rick?” “Is MamMam feeling better?” “Can you believe they’re getting married?”
Our emails go much the same way, always ending in x’s, o’s and promises of getting together soon. Sometimes, we’re better about it than others.
After Trix couldn’t make a recent girls’ weekend, my mom — ever the rational person — reminded me, “You know, she’s going to be a mom. She is going to miss things.”
“Ugh. She’s pregnant, not dying,” I responded before quickly changing my tune.
My mom is right. Trix is going to miss things. Our friendship will change. Priorities will be different.
Family has to come first; I get that. It’s going to be harder for her to steal away for a weekend — or even a night out. It is going to take work to plan a day to do our nails, browse the clearance racks and catch a terrible movie together.
In the past, I’ve been lazy when friends took the plunge into parenthood. I’ve “liked” photos from afar and continued on with my life, sending birthday presents and well wishes to little ones who are growing like weeds. We’ve drifted apart.
But this time, I know it will be OK.
Maybe it’s because we’re all growing up — and good things are happening for all of us.
In May, Kate will graduate with her master’s degree. Jenni took a leap into freelancing. Mike got a new job. Brittany is teaching. Erica is married. Lori got an apartment. Christi has a puppy. Matt is engaged.
Trix and Hektor were trying to start a family. They are ready to take that next step in adulthood and give their dog a little brother. She’s already started stockpiling diapers and children’s toys.
And I’m excited — even if it is a big change for them — and, to a much lesser extent, me.
Maybe our next girls’ weekend will involve a Pack ‘N Play. We might hit the Baltimore Aquarium this summer instead of tanning on the beach, reading magazines. And I have a feeling wherever we go shopping next time, it will involve a trip to the children’s section.
I’m just hoping John Pierre can sleep through a terrible rom-com.
April Trotter is the editor of Smart. Email her at email@example.com or follow her on Twitter @apriltrotter.