My friend Nicole is visiting us this week. It’s a special week, not only because she’s here visiting and our home is all the better for having her spirit to share our world, but we will both be celebrating our birthdays on Tuesday.
Yes, that’s right, we share the same birthday, albeit in different years. (She’s the younger sister).
Nicole and I have known each other for nearly six years, as she explains below. Our friendship began in a foreign country in what seems now like a totally different lifetime ago for both of us. She was the Maid of Honor for my wedding in 2009 — and that was only the 10th time we had ever seen each other in person. This visit brings us up to 13 times together.
A summer abroad. A bridal shower/bachelorette weekend. A wedding celebration. A baby shower and visit. A few trips to Massachusetts by me. Many visits to PA by Nicole.
Everything, every visit is an adventure of some sorts. And it usually involves a dangerous game of Truth or Truth and a pensive gaze over the waterfalls, across the city or over the covered bridge — or whatever scenery we’ve surrounded ourselves with this time.
We call each other ‘gemelas’, which means twins in Spanish, the first passion we shared together. Nicole is in real life a twin, and I hope her sister doesn’t mind much my being Nicole’s spanish twin.
Life is crazy. The journey is sometimes bizarre. You always need a traveling partner.
And now, I present, mi gemela…
Explain how you and Wendy met:
Wendy and I met 5 1/2 years ago in Buenos Aires, Argentina. We were studying abroad at the young, innocent ages of 20 and 21 when we thought we knew everything, but in fact we knew nothing at all. I still can’t quite figure out what it was that bonded us, but that summer I traveled halfway across the globe to find my best friend and my “gemela.” Looking back at my travel journal I kept that summer, I smile to see that only seven days into meeting Wendy, we both already knew that we had found our soul sister. It must’ve been the dulce de leche! That stuff was better than wine!
What were your first impressions of Wendy? Were they accurate? How has W changed since then?
I remember thinking that Wendy was one of the strongest and most fascinating persons that I had met…. and that still holds true. That girl has faced more challenges in her life than most people, but she has magically turned them all into stepping stones bringing her to where she is today.
What was your first impression of Scott? Has that changed?
Right off the bat, Scott struck me as a fun person to be with. I remember some silly pictures taken during a car ride through a snowy Boston suburb, a crazy visit to the Jersey Shore that involved moose antlers, and just a lot of laughter and comfortableness around him right from the beginning. Clearly that was part of what attracted Wendy to him. I could see right away that he made Wendy so happy. She just has this contented smile on her face when she is with him.
What was your reaction to finding out we were having a baby? To us having the baby? To hearing he had Down Syndrome?
Having a baby – I shrieked! I was so excited for Wendy and Scott. It took me a few days to fully process that they were going to have a BABY, but their news made me float on air for a few days, I was so happy for them both and was dying to see them in action as parents! Hearing he had DS – I’ll be honest: at first I was stunned. There was this sharp intake of breath, the pit of my stomach just dropping out, and a good half hour of sitting there in the middle of the night, staring at the message on my computer in shock. And then shock gave way to reason and other emotions came into it, and I realized that already Zachary was such a lucky little man to have come into YOUR lives. He couldn’t have asked for better parents. And now every day that passes, I cannot agree more that he has helped to make you who you are, and that you are taking these impressive and powerful strides to help others and bring a voice to the cause.
What makes us good parents?
Love. Pure and simple.
Everyone thinks twins have a secret sense between them, sharing pain and feelings and all that. Do you think it’s true? What about gemelas? 🙂
How do you share a belly laugh with someone who is 497 miles away? Gemelas, that’s how. Wendy and I are soul sisters, have been for 5 years, and always will be. We may be separated by physical distance, and we may be at different stages of our lives, but that connection is still there. There have been so many moments when I’ve wanted to just beat that distance to the ground, travel across the phone lines, and be there with my gemela for a hug, a kind word, a shared belly laugh, or just a knowing look. But distance doesn’t get in the way of that, because we are still just as much gemelas now as we were wandering the streets of Buenos Aires together. Gemelas para siempre.
What is the best/most fascinating moment of your life so far? If you could plan out your future best moment, what would you wish it to be?
You mean I have to choose just one???? Everyone that knows me knows that I look for the little moments that mean so much to me, and I savor them. When I travel, I don’t come back telling you about my favorite place. Nope. It’s all about my favorite moments. So in my day-to-day life, it’s all those little moments that add up to make me who I am. Moments at a kitchen table with the sun streaming through the window, on a front stoop in a little garden-filled alleyway of Boston, walking across my family’s farm with my boots trekking through the fields and the mud, snapping photos of my favorite places, looking in wonder at my students’ upturned and smiling faces, a familiar and comforting voice coming through the phone lines…. THOSE are the most fascinating moments of my life. As for the ones to come? I would hope that my best future moments would be a small moments with loved ones, a simple act or word that will carry so much joy and strength that it will be with me para siempre.
What advice/words of wisdom are you dying to share with Zack?
This is Nicole’s great answer.