Sometimes God places a person in your life in a way you never expected. Sometimes you don't even realize it's happening until you look back a decade and realize a third of your life has been enriched by their presence in it. Sara is that person for me.
My Mom always cautioned me against making friends online. Or posting pictures of the kids. Or having identifying information available, like addresses, phone numbers, etc. A common fear at the dawn of widespread internet use was that people were regularly tracked down and murdered or abducted due to carelessness with their personal information.
That was the age I grew up in, and why my first email address bore little resemblance to my actual name. Still, I couldn't resist, and back then when the only social networking were forums or chat rooms and blogs were still called weblogs, I started one.
I can't say when exactly I met my friend Sara, or who found who first, but through those early blogs we got connected. Both very young Moms, we had blogs that helped us feel connected during a lonely point in our lives. And babies. Lots and lots of babies. In fact, over the years we ended up kind of in sync, and are now both pregnant with our #7's. We've both done a lot of growing up. A lot of changing. She is one of just a few online friends I have met "in real life" and is someone I consider to be a close friend. Someone to rely on. Someone who gets me.
She's who I think of when people talk about online friendships in a negative way, as if such connections could never be more than superficial. With Sara, I've shared incredibly personal moments. I've confessed deep dark secrets and I've whispered prayers for her and her family. Yes, she's technically my "online" friend who I've seen three times total. She's also a kindred spirit. A person who knows me in ways others just don't.
Both Sara and I started knitting around the same time and it quickly became a passion for both of us. Something we enjoy that we can do right along side raising our kids and dealing with the stress and insanity that life tends to bring. She made me a beautiful dress when Rosie was small, and I bought yarn to make something for her corresponding baby - and didn't, once Rosie revealed herself to be colicky and entirely intolerant of me doing anything but holding her.
This time around, she sent me a lovely set for my #7 and I managed to get something together for her expected little one. There's something special about knitting for a friends' baby. Something extra special to knit something for someone who you know "gets" the deal about knitting. The time it takes, the careful selection of materials and patterns. Someone who knows how to take care of it and truly appreciates what goes into it. I just love the opportunity to keep both Sara and her baby in my mind and heart, praying for both while needles and yarn work together to become something special.
Yesterday, she messaged me her ultrasound picture. After three little ladies in a row, #7 is a boy. Which puts us both with 4 girls and 3 boys. I laugh because of course. That's just how we are. In sync in the funniest ways.
It's been a few years since I've seen Sara. We have plans to try and get together this summer, knitting on the beach while watching our kids play. I hope it happens. If not, I'll still know that our ten year friendship is something special. Something priceless. Just knowing that someone out there gets me. It's a precious, precious thing.
(I made Sara's sweet #7 a Baby Vertabrae and socks on sunshiney Swish tonal).
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