I went visiting teaching tonight. My companion and our visiting teach-ee are both a little bit older than me and are long-timers in the ward - they've taught each others' kids in Primary and Scouts and can recall old presidencies and ward events from long before I moved here - so I spent a good chunk of the visit listening to them ask and share about their kids. They spend their days working and driving their kids to various activities and having dinner as families and watching Downton Abbey with their husbands when they get home for the night while their kids bake muffins and do homework in the next room.*
That's the life I fully expected I would have. Granted, I didn't necessarily imagine Downton Abbey in particular, but I never imagined that I wouldn't be a mom, wouldn't be married, wouldn't be living that kind of life.
It's hard to shake off what I spent so many years expecting to happen. It's hard to realize that I'm past the "all my friends are getting married" and "all my friends are pregnant" stages and am now in the "all my friends have multiple babies and some of those babies are almost teenagers" stage.
Being courteous people, Lisa and Cindy include me in the conversation with the question that anyone who knows me even a little always asks - "What's your next trip?" I say that I'm going to New York in a few months to see an opera.
"You're so lucky," they say like always. "Good for you. You should do stuff like that while you can."
I am lucky. But they are too.
* Side note: I thought this was a funny detail from the conversation because it reminded me so strongly of my parents' ritual - all three of us kids knew very well that we were not to touch the New York Super Fudge Chunk Ben & Jerry's ice cream because it was Mom and Dad's "grown-up" ice cream to eat while watching Northern Exposure. To this day when I go home to visit and Mom or Dad offer me a cup of that flavor of ice cream it feels like a very grown-up treat I'm being allowed to have.