I am at my sister-in-law's wedding, sitting at my table, watching her bridesmaids own the dance floor.
I used to be one of those girls. I used to drink and dance until the sun came up. A wedding meant a party. An opportunity to spend the evening with my friends drinking as much as possible until that last song seeped through the speakers. Going out afterwards, refusing to end the celebration. A gang of well dressed wedding guests descending on an already crowded bar.
There are times that I look at my life and wonder how I got here. Wasn't I just graduating from college? Didn't I just meet Clif? Don't I have amazing plans for this weekend? Shouldn't I be thinking about a prom dress?
No. The answer to all these questions is no. I graduated from college so long ago, that on the eve of my graduation I was wearing overalls at the bar. When was the last time you saw someone over the age of 2 wearing overalls? Clif and I have known each other for a decade. Yeah, that's 10 years. My weekends are no longer spent primping for a night out on the town. Now I feel cool if I can stay awake for SNL. The fact is, I am now closer to Ainsley's high school prom than I am to my own.
How did that happen? How did I wake up one morning middle-aged, married, mother of two? Life spins by out of control. I feel like I'm missing things, forgetting things. Sometimes I get so caught up in the idea of preserving every single moment, that years just whiz by unnoticed.
So, I sit and watch these girls. Watch them dancing and singing and laughing. Their wine glasses rocking to the beat of the music. The amber liquid coming dangerously close to splashing over the edge. Those days for me are so vivid, yet so far away. I can remember some of those moments with precise clarity, but in the same breath I can't remember the last time I danced the night away with a drink in my hand.
There are times when I long for that. Wish for a carefree day. A day spent lounging on the couch watching reality TV. An evening passed with friends over a long dinner. A sunrise watched after a long night of silliness and youth.
I sit, with my small boy perched on my shoulder. His slow, deep breaths confirming his slumber. I watch my young daughter twirling in the middle of these girls. Her blond locks flapping against her cheeks.
And honestly, I don't miss it. I don't miss those nights. Now I have patty-cake and peek-a-boo. Dress up and dance class. Morning songs and bedtime routines. Dora and Raffi. Stained onsies and tiny socks. I wouldn't trade any of it to be one of those girls again.
And one day...maybe soon, maybe years from now...those girls will sit at a wedding, watching others and they'll smile thinking the same thing.