One of my best friends from high school, Marguerite, is in town (she lives in San Francisco) with her family visiting her parents before heading to Kenya. We have been friends for over 18 YEARS!!!! and I have written about my love for her before on this blog.

She is truly one of the most amazing, vivacious, accomplished people I know, and I have loved watching her journey and cheering for her—even when she hasn’t known it. One of the many things I wish I were better at is this: I wish I were better at letting my friends know ALL THE TIME how much I love and care about them. They are always on my mind, but sometimes they don’t know it. I am not always the most connected or demonstrative, even when my heart has never changed. I get comfortable in my knowledge that, “once a friend of mine, always a friend of mine” (I am pretty loyal to a fault), and then I forget to show that on a daily basis—because I assume they know.

I want my friends to know that, when a day comes up like this when I get to spend time with you, it means everything to me. It will be remembered forever, and spending time with you brings me total joy. I wish many of you lived closer. You embody and remind me of what I love most about life.

Spending time with Marguerite and her family and my family today was almost as surreal as it was beautiful. I watched Anabel (one of Marguerite’s daughters) and Katie connect, drawn together almost immediately without our intercession. It was like watching magic. To think of all of those years we have known each other, all the way back to middle school. Our Mock Trial days. The nights all of us used to chat late into the night in Marguerite’s living room—hers was the hangout house. Our mystery dinners. Our French film fest slumber party and toe rings. So many memories.

Now the next generation is becoming friends. Oh, it made me long for Steve to be here, too, with his little Alex. His wife Carol has a girl on the way. Rosa has a boy coming in September. I am longing, longing for us all to get all the kiddos together… We have all watched each other try at so many things in this life, been with each other through times of constant communication and times of distance, maintained our friendships even as we diverged at different universities. Watching each other be parents and realizing that some of  us are now in another phase of our lives together, with the others joining us soon in marriage and children…I am staggered and awed and humbled that I have these lifelong friends, regardless of where each is on his or her part of the journey.

I have been thirsting to quench myself in the atmosphere of the Bay Area this year. I miss it. Steve lives up there, too, now. With everything going on this summer, I am not sure how we can fit in a road trip, but it is on my radar for next spring. I want Rosa and Emily there, too, though…Shil…Angie…and some others, if only we could.

Waking up to the knowledge that I would see Marguerite today was like waking up and knowing it was a holiday, like Christmas. Today felt like a present.

Anabel, Juliet, and Katie playing in the family room

Marguerite helps set up at Painted Earth

Katie cleans her bowl before glazing

Picking out their ceramic pieces with Dylan, Marguerite’s husband

Katie wants to hug Anabel…she really likes Anabel very much…

Marguerite and I with the next generation… We met in the 7th grade… Pretty wild, huh?

After Painted Earth—and how cool is it that now we will have a keepsake pottery piece to remember this playdate?—we went to lunch at Pamir, our favorite Afghan restaurant. As an added treat, I saw two of my former students, and now friends, there, Erin and Erik (who are a couple). Seeing them made me think of my high school students and how I wish for all of them to have lasting friendships from high school, to experience what a blessing that is. It is powerful indeed to have people in your life who have known you since forever, in addition to your parents. It is nothing short of magical.

With love to all of my friends, old and new, or even developing,