I've said before how D.C. is a bit of a small town. It's a fact that I'm reminded of on a regular basis. I run into people I know all the time -- at least once a week. It's not often, though, that it's someone I haven't seen in nearly 20 years. Certainly the advent of Facebook has made chance encounters after years of seperation a thing of the past, but there are always those people who aren't on Facebook or you can't seem to find online.
A couple of weeks ago, I was leaving the ladies room at my office (my organization shares its space with another larger organization) and saw a strangely familiar face. But it couldn't be could it? It quickly left my mind until later the next day when I was looking up an email address for one of the folks with whom we share our office. A name on the list was the name of the person I thought I had seen. Still, there's no way, was there? A quick look online at LinkedIn, and I was certain it had to be her.
When I was in high school, I spent the time when I wasn't playing sports or participating in afterschool activities babysitting for the Little Girl and the Little Boy. She was five and he was a baby. I had been sitting for them off and on since the Little Girl was two. Through their parents, I met several other families for whom I babysat, but the Little family was always first on my list. I became a bit of a babysitting mogul . . . because I had a car and my parents didn't mind if I stayed out late if I was watching kids. In fact, I didn't have to get a "real" job waiting tables or at the mall like most of my friends, because I was able to finance my lifestyle with babysitting. I think the Little family and their cohorts fully funded my recreational activities my freshman year of college. Anyway, when I left for school, I left the kids behind, though I would occasionally come back for a visit. As is the way these things happen, I lost touch with the Little family and went on with life. I've often wondered what became of the Little Girl and the Little Boy who were two of the brightest and most well-behaved kids I've ever met.
And then . . . there the Little Girl was in the office bathroom. I sent an email to the address on our office list, thinking that maybe she wouldn't remember me (after all, we hadn't seen each other since she was about seven-years-old). But of course she did and we caught up later that day. Yesterday we had lunch together, which was slightly mind-blowing, as having an adult conversation with someone with whom I used to discuss the finer points of The Little Mermaid seemed strangely out of context. I quickly got over it though, and it was such a delight to see that she had turned into a poised young lady (yeah, I know, I sound like an 87-year-old grandma). She told me that I hadn't changed a bit . . . since I was 17! We chatted like old friends . . . or new friends. And isn't that the beauty of the small world? Running into someone, years hence, and realizing that you have made a new friend of an old friend?
Has anything like this ever happened to you?