In some respects, we moms could not be more different.
While my faith is the central part of my life, my friend never has believed in a Divine Power and finds any kind of spirituality irrelevant. And yet, we share so many of the same desires - for ourselves, our marriages and our children. Mystery has graced this friendship for many years even though my friend and I often do not see eye to eye. In fact, before we set out, we had a pretty animated discussion about post World War II Poland.
We walked for an hour on a small section of the Delaware and Raritan towpath, a 77-mile trail created in the early 19th century for mules and horses to lug barges of coal from Pennsylvania to New York City along canals. And as we walked, my patient friend slowed down to match my pace.
She and I talked about our sons. They're leaving their childhood years behind, beginning, just beginning, to emerge as young men, with first crushes, acne, and messy bedrooms. She pointed out a heron, flapping its wings above the canal.
It is beautiful to see these two boys emerge from their younger years, to watch their hearts and minds unfold. Being a mother is an extraordinary gift. I am grateful to be graced with friends who share the journey.