Katie Berry, RECPTA Past PresidentYesterday was my first child’s 18th birthday. When he was a year, I joined this group, with polite encouragement from Cindy Spence and undeniable persuasion from Laura Schlenker. She took me on my first retreat, and I’ve been hooked ever since. This group became my social world and still is.

I see myself when I notice all of you with your strollers, managing kids at the grocery store, swinging them at the park. And my heart fills with gladness. I remember that joy, but, just as clearly, I remember how taxing it was too. We needed each other for day-to-day physical and emotional support. And, we cooked up a lot of fun. I’ve had more fun in this group than in my whole life. And, I still can.

During what I call “middle-aged parenting,” we began to get a glimpse of how hard all of this could all get before it’s over. When it does get hard, and even when you are at your worst, these women stick close to you anyway. And when it’s their turn, you’ll do the same.

Look, girls, I don’t want to spoil the ending for you. But, that whole “old age isn’t for sissies” thing is turning out to be true. Life can be tough sometimes. Some of you know that already. Some don’t. What I’m finding is that the only thing more important than life itself is our relationships. Because they keep us safe.

Founders Day reminds me that having been a part of RECPTA has allowed me to feel nurtured and supported by my old friends and allows me to readily establish new relationships with RECPTA women over long conversations. They get it. And so do I.