I was home in Houston, Texas this past week, my city of origin that is. Born and raised a Houstonian, the city has had a massive makeover since I was born there over 30ish years ago. To be honest, I rarely leave my bubble when I travel back to the South. That bubble being my parent's home that we moved to when I was in the 4th grade and about a 3mile radius that I run with my Dad around the old hood. I actually remember my room that year we moved, it had royal blue carpet (yikes), a rose print duvet cover with the curtains, shams, bed ruffle ... rose print everything to match (double yikes) and we had a very stinky cocker spaniel named Penny. It is all hardwood now yet still so cozy and the new pups (and turtle) don't stink.
Arriving home this time was interesting as I am carrying a child in my abdomen and the husband stayed home in Denver to keep watch of the home front (i.e. love the pups and change the World by teaching local Denver children PE and Math, as he does). My sweet Mother had left all the Christmas decorations up so I could experience my childhood home decorated with my favorite time of year. Her tree is really a sight to see anyways, she has counted and there are over 500 ornaments, each one with an attached memory and deep sentimental value. Mom is special like that.
I was actually back home to lead two goal setting workshops at a new yoga studio opened by friends of mine, aptly they are named the Houstons. Workshops went well and the people that showed up were ready and eager for the work as we dove into boundary shields, rooting into our values and vision creation.
This trip was really jam-packed. I mean to the brim, every night, something to do. It is funny when you return back 'home', do you find you return back to that age when you lived at home? I was pretty social as a kid and always playing a billion sports and running here, there and everywhere. And this trip, instead of being 31, I was a teen again and running here, there and everywhere with a packed schedule and sort of out of breath because you know, baby growing and moving lungs and organs all around. And my family has a bunch of night owls, like up past midnight. So I am out of breath and I have bags under my eyes!
The Sunday evening, one of my Mom's dear friends threw me a baby shower. It was very sweet and so delicious. Seriously, the food and cupcakes were delicious. I believe my Mom's friend throwing the shower thought I would have some Houston friends still hanging around, alas I do not. I will be honest, I did not do well with keeping in touch with my Texas crew. Do I still cherish my memories and friendships with them, yes. Do I still like their cute kid photos on instagram, of course. Yet as I shared earlier, I stayed so tight knit in the bubble when I came home to Houston that I rarely saw my old friends. To be really honest, I went through a lot of transitions in high school and college. I don't know if I was truly comfortable with them all, so staying at home on the big red couch with my sisters and parents felt way safer than partying with old friends or re-introducing myself again and again as I explored my changing identity city to city to city. Does that resonate?
Regardless, the baby shower was a beautiful gathering of my Mom's best friends, my Aunt and her best friends and my little sisters and a few of their friends. And I remember sitting in this glider in the living room of my Mom's dear friend's home, I had opened all the presents, hugged everyone there and was sipping some type of ginger beer mocktail. And I looked at all my Mom's best friends, a lot of whom had been my teachers growing up, including my pre-school teacher, my favorite softball coach, my Greek teacher, the receptionist at my old school (has to be pushing 70 something and looks incredible), even my own Mother was my PE teacher through all my elementary years. These were my teachers, some I had babysat their kids, some I was best friends with their children growing up, some I have coached in recent years through my own business. It was a gnarly time warp knowing that these women had been such an integral part of my life, all of them. Truly because they were a part of my Mother's life, they were important to my Mom.
For a moment I felt a wave of guilt. Who am I to accept these presents from my Mom's best friends, they should be showering my Mom, future grandmother-to-be. Do note: she will not be called Grandma, her chosen title is 'GiGi'. And then I felt guilty for all the friends I didn't have there, should I have kept in touch? Should I have called more? Should I have more friends in life at this point?
And then I snapped out of that dramatic bullshit storytelling I was doing. And I looked in awe at my Mom's best friends sitting around the table, all so different and all so loud. How they had come together to shower me because it was important to my Mom. They loved my Mother this much to make sure her first grandbaby came into this World with faux fur boots, books to be read at night, a mattress to sleep on and a pak 'n play to have for Gigi's house.
It was a magical group of women in that space (and my amazing Dad who said he was the picture man but really devoured the cheese plate and sat next to me for awhile and gave belly rubs for his first grandlady). It was a powerful feeling to be surrounded by so much love and so many of my life teachers and my Mom's life teachers. Because that is what best friends are, your life teachers. For you and even for your own (future) children and their children.
To have a group of powerhouse women, it is a gift and a choice, truly. I am grateful my mom chose wisely and I can continue to learn again and again. Of course, because Mom is special like that.