It's funny. If you take a second and think back over any of the truly defining moments in your life, you'll see that they came upon you suddenly; seemingly random, and yet they made such an impact that you know---as perhaps only you know---the moment that things began to turn.
One glorious Autumn afternoon, I was walking through Midtown Manhattan, enjoying the crisp weather, when I realized after a few blocks that I was keeping pace with two young girls that were a bit in front of me, to my right. For those of you who have never been to NYC: Midtown Manhattan is laid out like a grid, and if you just so happen to be going in the same direction, you can walk several blocks (or miles) with the same people. Unbeknownst to most people who live outside of NYC, we're actually quite a friendly bunch, and often times while waiting for a sign to turn from DON'T WALK to WALK, you may even strike up a conversation with your fellow pedestrian.
That afternoon, I'm quite sure these two young twenty-somethings caught my eye quite possibly because they reminded me of...me. They were dressed the way I had been in my early twenties: cheap business suits that were straining to look professional, great little knock-off purses slung casually over their shoulder, and quite possibly a little too much makeup. As we walked in tandem, I caught a little bit of their conversation.
"Oh My God! He's such a jerk!" They laughed. Then one turned to the other and said, "OMG! I almost forgot to ask you! What are you doing Friday for lunch?!" Her voice went up an octave, filled with the urgency of a young woman still enthused by all things New York.
"Totally nothing. Why?"
"Well, my Mom's coming into the City, and she totally told me to ask you to join us for lunch." She flipped her hair. "I almost forgot!"
"Oooooh, that sounds nice! Your Mom is so cool!" They giggled.
"Yeah, she is." The girl with the cool Mom shrugged her shoulders and they crossed.
I dropped back a few paces then and promptly burst into tears. At first, I wasn't sure why I was crying. But I could not deny the undeniable twinge; the first time I had ever felt anything towards being a Mom.
At the time, I was thirty-eight years old.