I remember the first time that I met Kristen. Her short white-blonde hair, grey-blue eyes, pixie ears, and heart-shaped face. Her short shorts and rolled socks. We met at the freshmen party, at the end of a scorching summer. We were standing there, partaking in awkward and excited small talk - playing it cool, the boys trying to impress the girls, deciding.
She was a homeschooler like me. We exchanged notes in class - a good girl's rebellion against the rules.
Now, fifteen years later, we talk about parenting and faith. She describes herself as being fiery (a quality I admire). She is highly opinionated (also a quality I admire). She is smart and confident and more beautiful than she realizes.
She married a mountain biking man that understands kids and reads books with voices. She has two round-cheeked babies, 17 months apart, browned from the sun. She dreams of living on a farm, raising chickens and vegetables and peace.
When we stayed at her house these past three days, I saw little bits of paper scattered on countertops. I recognized her handwriting, her laugh. It felt familiar.
I liked her then. I like her more now.
Do you stay in touch with any of your classmates/friends from high school?