I was 18 years old when my first friend had a baby. We had been best friends since we were 12 and 13.
To say I was in absolute shock would be an understatement. We were just kids! I was getting ready to go to college! Even though it wasn't happening to me, I understood the severity of the situation.
Her life would be totally different. My life, by proxy would be totally different. When you have a friend who's a mom, it changes the entire dynamic of your relationship. And, for us, it did. I felt like my life was just beginning as hers was ending, in a way.
At the end of 2012, one of my best friends told me she was pregnant with her first child. I was pleasantly surprised. I had barely finished recouping my bank account from being her maid of honor and she was already pregnant.
While she wasn't my first close friend to have a baby, she was my first close friend to make the conscious decision to have a baby. By the time this happened, my childhood best friend had two children.
But, this was different. This friend was married and they had their sh*t together. This was the first time I felt like an adult.
I always say she started a pregnancy trend. Throughout 2013, I found so many of my friends and acquaintances were announcing their pregnancies. For a while, it just seemed like something was in the water.
I got pregnant; four of my former coworkers were pregnant by summer; a few more friends from my single-gal days announced their pregnancies, childhood friends and family members.
Many of these women are frozen in time to me. I looked at their rotund stomachs and said to myself, "Wasn't she just 12?" It suddenly felt like baby bumps were the norm in my life.
As we all began to progress in our pregnancies and even to give birth, I thought things would slow down. Man, was I wrong! It only seemed to continue to speed up!
Today, my son and the first wave of babies are over a year old. In that year, it feels like I know of 20 more babies that were conceived. I feel like I can't sign onto Facebook without a new birth announcement.
The more I see my friends, especially my friends from childhood, having babies the more I realize we're not kids anymore. I can vividly remember sleepovers, school plays, graduations, drunken nights and various other activities with these women.
Now, we're pushing strollers and scheduling play dates. Over the past few years, my Facebook feed has gone from party selfies to pictures of round-faced, gummy smiles.
Looking at these pictures, I love to try and see if I can recognize my friends in the faces of their children. I often see a flash of them, and it reminds me of the days of our youth. Sometimes, I look at my son, and the rate at which he's growing and changing overwhelms me.
He is now a constant reminder I am getting older. It's one thing to only remember how old you are on your birthday, but now that I'm being asked how old my kid is, every month I add brings me closer to my 30th birthday. That is a scary realization.
Obviously, I knew the aging was inevitable, but it has been happening at an overwhelmingly fast rate. It feels like just yesterday I was getting drunk and stumbling home at 4 am. Now, I'm exhausted by 9 pm.
Being 28 is weird. I'm far closer to 30 than 20 and that, alone, is hard to believe. When I read those Internet lists that talk about being in your late 20s, I find myself nodding my head at almost every point made. I realized the other day my mom and I were the same age when we had kids.
I find myself envious of my younger friends who can party all night and be functional the next day. I log on to Facebook and friends my age are talking about either going out and their careers, or they're talking about breastfeeding, diapers and buying houses.
Sometimes, I find myself thinking, "What in the actual f*ck is my life?" As I watch the pages of the calendar turn faster and faster, I think of how much of my life I still have to live.
There is so much I have yet to accomplish, and I know having this amazing little boy in my life will make every other accomplishment pale in comparison, but they are still necessary to me.
But, there is a great thing that has come of me growing up and becoming a mom. It has brought me closer to a group of people I had grown apart from and lost touch with.
Of course, we're not all best friends, but we will reach out to offer support if someone's kid won't nap, or we're quick to answer a question about products we use. We'll share helpful tips, articles that made us cry or just reach out to tell each other how cute one another's kids are.
We had some great experiences as kids, and now, we get to do it again with our own children. And, while it is still scary to face the reality that my 20s are almost over and I really am an adult, it's a little less scary knowing I'm not alone.
I have all of these great ladies to go through the ride with, one play date at a time.