Parallel Lives

Have you ever had a friend with whom you feel like you're living parallel lives? God reminds me of our need for community and relationships when he brings these types of friends into my life. Tracy Manning is one of them.

We met at seminary in New Orleans when we were both pregnant with our first child. On the seminary campus, especially, it is not uncommon for many women to be pregnant at the same time, and quite often you'll find at least one (if not more) who is due right around the same day as you. Up until we became pregnant, I knew who Tracy was, but didn't really know her. We both worked full-time on campus while our husbands were students. She in the Financial Aid office, me in the Professional Doctoral Programs office. As we became friends, we began emailing each other almost on a daily basis. "Are you experiencing this in pregnancy? What did your doctor say about this? Do you want to sit together at our labor/delivery classes?" We didn't have the same doctor, but our doctors were in the same group and we would be delivering at the same hospital. If I remember correctly, we were about 2 weeks apart.

Riley was 9 days early, and Maleah (Tracy's daughter) was a little late, so they ended up being exactly 4 weeks apart...almost to the hour. With the craziness of newborns and all that entails, we didn't get to spend as much time together post-pregnancy, but we did have a couple of playdates with the little ones.

Here they are when Riley was 2 months old and Maleah was 1 month.

The mama's

Fast forward to last year. After we moved from New Orleans to Hughes Springs in 2010, Tracy and I didn't talk as much, but we kept in touch through facebook and email. And then last Spring I got an email from her. It said something to the effect of, "Please pray for us...we're pregnant!" Well, the week before, I found out that Ella was being formed in my body. So, I wrote back and said, "I'll pray for you, and you can pray for me! We're pregnant, too!" I told her my due date was December 10, and she shared that hers was December 6. Here we go again with round 2 of pregnancy at the same time!

We rocked on a few months and then it was time to find out the gender of the babies. And yes, we had ultrasounds scheduled for the same exact day without being in the same place or knowing the other was going that day. The only difference was she found out she was having a girl, whereas we couldn't find out because little miss was very shy and stubborn! I came home and wrote her saying we were going to have to go back in about 4 weeks to try and find out again. She wrote back and said they had to go back in 4 weeks, too, because even though they found out the sex, her baby wasn't too cooperative with the rest of the measurements.

In August, a few weeks before I was scheduled to go back for the ultrasound, I was reading through facebook. I saw a post Tracy had written and it included the name of their baby girl - Grace Elizabeth. Here is what I wrote Tracy immediately after seeing this: "I am seriously laughing OUT LOUD right now because I just read what y'all are going to name your daughter....Grace Elizabeth. Please believe me when I say that either Grace Elizabeth or Elizabeth Grace is my first choice on girl names right now (still don't know what we're having). Tracy, are we long lost twins or something??? This is hilarious." As you know by now, we went with Elizabeth Grace. :)

Tracy's husband, Ed, graduated from the seminary this past December. I remember last year when we were writing back and forth, she made the comment, "Well, you never know where we'll end up after seminary. It may be somewhere close to you." I remember thinking how fun that would be, but also pretty sure it wasn't going to happen. And then in January she asked me to pray because they were going to visit a church in North Louisiana for a possible position for Ed. I asked where in Northern LA, and she said, "Vivian." I immediately looked it up on the map, and friends, she would be an hour away from me.

Ed was called to that church, and they now live an hour away from us! It's taken us several weeks to work it out, but today we were finally able to meet in the middle in Atlanta, TX. It's been over 2 years since I've seen her, but it's one of those friendships where you just pick back up where you left off.

Yes, lunch at Dairy Queen with 2 almost-3-year-olds and 2 4-month-olds was quite hectic, but as I was driving home I couldn't help but thank God for such a crazy time. I'm so grateful for the friendships He gives me and the people I can relate to who know exactly what it means to be a stay-at-home-mom to a 2-year-old and infant. I can't wait for the next get-together when we'll continue talking about the ups and downs of potty training, how much our babies eat at a time, what life is like being a minister's wife, all while reminding our 2-year-olds to eat their lunch, not run around the restaurant, and be sure to tell us when they need to go to the potty. :)

1 comment:

  1. I love it, Laura. What a special time! Huh, btw I think my dad was born in Vivian, LA. Well, either there or Rodessa, they had to go to one or the other town to where the hospital was. :) What a small world!