The year is 1988. Two girls (I know, I should say "young women" but girls is how we thought of ourselves; girls is what we were) lie awake in their room in the sorority house, talking about life and their hopes for the future. One girl talks about the boy she's dating, how he excites her, challenges her, and exasperates her all at the same time. How she knows, just knows, that he's the one. How she's not sure how she'll make it through the next year when he's graduated and moved away. She talks about wanting to make a difference in the world, teaching kids the joys of literature, bringing history to life for them. She knows her own kids will be in the picture too, wants three just like her own family. The other girl wonders where her path will take her. She's been dating several different guys, but none seriously. She knows she wants kids, preferably four. She's worried about what she'll do with that journalism degree once she graduates the next year. She's done an internship at the newspaper and doesn't feel a real "fit."
The years moved on. Girl Number One married that guy, oh, let's call him Adventure Guy, and he still excites her, challenges her, and exasperates her all at the same time. The three children were born exactly according to plan. The career took a bit of a detour out of teaching and into school administration, where she still hopes she's making a difference in the world. Along the way, Girl Number One introduced Girl Number Two to Adventure Guy's friend from high school. They followed the first couple down the aisle two years later. Girl Number Two found that her journalism skills paid off both literally and figuratively in her career as a technical writer, and she moved up the corporate ladder quickly. All seemed right on track until Girl Number Two started working on the four kids part of the plan, which did not go at all as she had hoped. There were eight long years of dashed hopes and disappointment before the second couple welcomed--twins! Girl Number Two was thrilled, but she shared quietly that she guessed she'd never have the four children she had dreamed of, not now, at her age and with her medical history. Surprise! Baby number three arrived a mere 18 months later.
And tonight, in 2007, Girl Number One made a special trip to the hospital. It was to see Baby Number Four, a beautiful little boy who completes the dream that Girl Number Two had so many years ago. He's a miracle in many ways, and I am so, so happy to report that in the case of Girls One and Two, you do sometimes get what you want.