(L-R Top row: Silvia Ruggieri, Erin Miller, me, America Ruggieri,
Jessi Molinengo, Kinsi Suttner, Ashlan Schofield
bottom row: Allyse Pixton, Bridgette Balkman, Tiffany Miller,
Chelsea Short, Lauren Wilkes)
One of our games was the TP bride one. Tiffany picked Erin (far left)
as the winner because it looks most like Tiff's real dress.
This has been dubbed our Family Portrait.
As I sat watching the mix of girls gathered at my home I couldn't help but wonder what the mother's were thinking. What was Fran (who belongs to Jessi Molinengo) throwing around her mind? or America Ruggieri's mother? What was her quiet façade masking as a dozen 2o-year-old women buzzed about her?
What does any mother think? Poor Tiffany Miller's (the bride-to-be and reason for our gathering) mother was frantic that she couldn't be a part of her daughter's bridal shower. All she ever wanted was to watch her daughter's excitement manifest itself: to laugh as Tiff shyly tried to get out of dancing for the crowd, to cheer as Tiff giggles at lace-y lingerie, to smile as Tiffany laughs and discusses life with her girls.
And so I wonder; what do parents think of as they watch their children? What memories are inspired by differences in lighting or that specific shirt their offspring happens to be donning?
I sometimes wish I knew what Hilary my parents see. Do my tired eyes remind them of that one time at Red Iguanas? Does the summer breeze remind them of Lou's clam chowder? What thoughts exist at specific moments? Sometimes the unfolding, dark, curly haired baby still trying to blink through the bright lights. Other times the bone-headed toddler just trying to do what she wants. The next time view reminds of the awkward middle-schooler with Rapunzel hair. And maybe even at times the tall teenager standing on the swim block, ready to win. (And maybe even go all the way across the pool without stopping. Either way I get a medal, right?)
I know that as I sat there watching my eclectic gathering of friends, I was impressed by how awesome we are. And I say awesome in every sense of the word.
First, because of our history. Almost everybody there came from the BYU 15th ward. 2 years out and we've still go each others' backs. We all care about each other and I was shocked by how comfortable we are with each other. There were topics discussed on a level that proved how much we trust each other. Not only that, but we realize how unique our connection is. Our freshman ward was unbelievably tight and we still are. Even the married/engaged girls are excited to see our guys get home from their missions.
The second reason the gathering is such a fun people-watching experience is because we all got along despite the fact the twelve of us are from different "groups" if you will. We all just clicked (including the non-15th ward friends) and conversation just flowed. You know those super awkward pauses where you're not sure who to talk to or what topic you should bring up?
Yeah, that moment? Those didn't happen.
And as far as I could tell, there were very few conversations that completely excluded people.
And as we interacted, I had those moments where one person's micro-emotion threw me back to almost forgotten instant.
Jessi's version of the McNasty screams of late-night dorm craziness and army crawling.
Kinsi's facial expression takes me back to Berlin.
Tiffany's knowing smile tells of the moments shared only by those who understand.
Each laugh tells a different story and brings back those thoughts not inspired by any other moment.
My girls (and it is the first time in my life that I really do have "girls") define who I am. They remind me of the best parts of me and have given a hand in sanding down my rough joints. They allow me to be ridiculous and love me for it. They are the keepers of the unique parts of my life.