10 Year Reunion

This past weekend, I attended my 10 year college reunion at Sweet Briar College.  I had a fantastic time!  It was such a great opportunity to see some old friends and to relax.  I also got to spend some much needed time with my husband in a beautiful setting.  It doesn’t get a lot better than that.  Sweet Briar’s campus is amazing.  I was so lucky to have been able to spend 4 years of my life in such a lovely place, and I was glad to go back.  It is more serene, bucolic and peaceful than almost any place I’ve ever been.  I didn’t fully appreciate how centering the campus is while I was there, but going back gives me a new perspective.

I remember distinctly my first visit to Sweet Briar when I was a high school junior (in 1992).  The campus won me over immediately.  It was like no place I had ever been.  I had visited Ivy League schools and colleges of the Seven Sisters, but Sweet Briar beat them all.  I was instantly attracted to the idea of spending 4 years there, but I thought it would be silly to choose a college based on setting alone.  But then the people that I met there really sealed the deal for me.  When I was in school, I made some of the best friends of my entire life at this beautiful place, and it was so great to go back to the place and the people.

It’s a great thing to go to a reunion as a woman who is 7 months pregnant.  Prior to becoming pregnant, I was stressed out about losing weight in time for reunion, but when you’re pregnant, that is so not a concern.  It’s also a great thing to go to a reunion at a women’s college as a pregnant woman.  It’s one of the most female-friendly atmospheres I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing since getting pregnant.  Everyone was so supportive and helpful.  My fellow alumnae talked enthusiastically about my pregnancy and asked me intelligent questions. (Unlike my favorite recent question by a co-worker, “When did you say that baby was coming out?  I think it’s coming sooner!”  Right, because in your spare time, you’re an obstetrician.  Note to everyone: it’s not any nicer to imply a pregnant woman is fat than it is to say it about anyone else.)  At the same time, no one acted like I was completely incapable.  No one told me to sit down, gasped when I tried to life something, or scolded me to walk more slowly.

I talked with some of my friends about my diagnosis of gestational diabetes.  Some of them have been through the same thing, some of them simply shared sympathy with my situation.  One woman, who I knew in college, but not well, came up to me and really helped ease my mind.  She had heard through another friend that I had been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, and she had, as well, with her twins.  She shared with me her experience of it not being too terrible, and told me about how quickly she recovered after having her girls.  Most importantly, she told me that she hadn’t gotten the same diagnosis with her second pregnancy, which was really nice to hear.  It helped me to feel more relaxed and hopeful, as it always does to hear about something you’re experiencing from someone who has already been there.  It was such a kind thing for her to approach me.  I was really grateful for it.

I had some excellent conversations with my fellow alums who have children.  They encouraged me and sympathized with my experiences, and laughed with me at my stories of my experiences.  I was amazed and encouraged by my friends’ amazing abilities as mothers.  I worry, as I imagine all mothers-to-be do, that I won’t be able to do the things I’ll need to do as a mom.  It’s just such an overwhelming change in my life.  But to see these women, my friends, who I remember as relatively carefree college students, parent their children, inspired me.  They have these beautiful, amazing, confident children.  They are beautiful, amazing, confident mothers.  I still don’t see myself in them, but it helps me to believe that I can do it.  Or at least, that I can learn.

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