The Tale of Two Moms

Once upon a time, there were two Moms.

And their jeans were tight.

And that annoyed them.

Mom One said, “My jeans are tight. And I’m annoyed. I’m going to go for a run.”

Mom Two said, “My jeans are tight too. I’m annoyed as well. I’m going to join you for a run.”

They went for that run. And they talked about their kids…because they were Moms. And Moms talk about their kids. And because their kids were the reason why their jeans were tight.  But the time passed quickly. And the run wasn’t so bad.

So, they decided to run together again. And they chatted some more about their kids.

They ran again. And they divulged their dreams for their kids.

They ran again. And they discussed their husbands.

They ran again. And they whispered about the stresses of marriage.

They ran for a long time together, and…as running partners so often do…they became the closest of friends.

Their runs were so much more than exercise.

Their runs were sacred.




Raw honesty.



A lifeline.

Occasional peeing behind a tree.

One day those two Moms…whose jeans were no longer tight…had the courage to talk about the one thing they’d never talked about before.

Mom One asked Mom Two, “If you could be anything in the world, what would you want to be?”

Mom Two replied, “My dream is to be a nurse.”

Mom Two asked Mom One, “If you could be anything in the world, what would you be?”

Mom One whispered, “My dream is to be a writer.”

The Mom Who Dreamed of Becoming a Nurse told the Mom Who Dreamed of Becoming a Writer, “You would be a wonderful writer.”

The Mom who Dreamed of Becoming a Writer told the Mom Who Dreamed of Becoming a Nurse, “You would make a wonderful nurse.”

They smiled at each other and tucked their dreams back into their boxes. Because…at that time…that’s where those dreams belonged.

And their conversation turned back to the Barefoot Contessa’s orzo with roasted vegetables. Because, damn, Ina nailed it with that recipe.

A few years passed and, though they didn’t run as regularly, they remained close friends.

They continued to laugh.

They shared more fabulous recipes.

They confided in each other.

And they reminded each other about their dreams, still tucked away in boxes.

The Mom Who Dreamed of Becoming a Writer said: “Remember your dream of becoming a nurse? I think it’s time for you to follow your dream.”

And The Mom Who Dreamed of Becoming a Nurse said: “Remember your dream of becoming a writer? I think it’s time for you to follow your dream.”

The Mom Who Dreamed of Becoming a Writer said: “I’m scared.”

The Mom Who Dreamed of Becoming a Nurse said: “I’m scared too. Let’s be scared together.”

And the Mom Who Dreamed of Becoming a Writer said: “It’s a deal. And by the way, I have a fantastic chicken recipe for you. Raspberry Balsamic Glaze. Really smashing.”

More than four years has passed since those two Moms first ran together.

This morning, the Mom Who Dreamed of Becoming a Writer received a text. It said, very simply and quite eloquently:


The Mom Who Dreamed of Becoming a Nurse had just completed her final exam.

The Mom Who Dreamed of Becoming a Nurse is finally a nurse.

And the Mom Who Dreamed of Becoming a Writer was so overcome with emotion that she sat at her kitchen counter and wept tears of joy and relief and pride and exhaustion for her friend.

And then…naturally…the Mom Who Dreamed of Becoming a Writer sat down.

And wrote about it.

Because that’s what writers do.

Here’s to tight jeans…

…To running partners…

…To reminding ourselves to dream…

…To having the courage to pursue those dreams…

…And to friendship.

Today is a good day.

Today my friend is a nurse.


129 thoughts on “The Tale of Two Moms

  1. This is wonderful! But then again, I have grown to expect nothing less from you. Because after all, you are a writer. There is nothing better than a true friend who can be with you in the good times as well as in the bad. The one that knows just how far to push you to reach your goals. I am sure that the feelings you had as your friend accomplished her goal was the same emotion she felt when you began this blog and when your name was printed on a published book. How amazing for you both. Congratulations to Mom 2 as well as to Mom 1 for striving to ring that bell. And to your friendship. Congratulations on that as well.

    • Except one of us is going to make a lot of money, and the other is trying to explain to her husband that this writing is, after all, cheaper than therapy;-)

  2. Bethany- thank you for sharing your beautiful story about a friendship between two wonderful people! I am SO proud of our new nurse; thank you for pushing and supporting her to achieve her life dream. And thank you for pursuing yours, as I enjoy reading your blogs. Some make me laugh, some make me cry, some make me do both! But most of all, they remind me that life should not be taken for granted, and that we should enjoy every moment.

    • Amen to that, sister. I keep thinking, “I’m an adult, I should have figured it all out by now”…more than anything, I’m learning that there is always room to learn more. It’s never too late to follow our dreams. Thanks for reading!!!

  3. Oh my goodness…this post hit me right in the heart. Thank you! My running/hiking/biking partner also happens to be my best friend and we always say “if the woods could talk!”. Running – it’s not about the running. I can’t say it enough. What a great friendship you have, thank you for sharing!

    • Marnie, that’s exactly what it is…it’s about the friendship and how vulnerable we allow ourselves to be in those moments that so few people get to glimpse us. It’s a special thing, and I wish it for everyone. Thank you for reading!

  4. My running partner and I have been running for just over a year…this literally brought me to tears….so absolutely true

    • Sara, I am dressed to run and going to bust out of here as soon as my husband gets home too! Thanks for reading!

    • It really does. It always takes me by surprise how running connects people. Such an inspiring community. Thanks for reading!

  5. I could not appreciate this more!! I’ve been a SAHM for 17 years and now my girls will be a senior and a sophomore. I feel a huge change coming and to balance my feelings of sadness about those changes, I spend time thinking about my dreams. It’s time to get back to me and the plans and dreams I had/have. I have no idea what they are, but your vignette reminds me it’s certainly worth thinking about.

  6. I am soooo happy that I stumbled across this post today (via FB share from AMR). Beautifully written, spot on, and so truthful. Thank you for writing this!

    • Thank you, Debi! I will be running the Ragnar Relay in DC on team SBS, and I can’t wait to meet her and Dimity in person! I would be willing to wager that I’ll have a funny/inspiring/ridiculous tale to write about after that as well!

  7. I loved this, Bethany! It actually brought tears to my eyes. My best friend and I became best friends running together in the unbearable heat and humidity of a Mississippi summer while our husbands trained to become pilots. I’m totally sending this to her. 🙂

    • Nicole, I’m so glad you can relate! There is nothing like that connection between running partners. Thank you for reading!

  8. Well I am so glad your friend encouraged you to write! I would feel a lot lonlier out here living with all these boys if it wasn’t for your writing. Thank you so much for writing!

  9. Another great one! I cried. I know how true your words are. Friendships are the place where so many dreams are shared and running seems to be the place we have so many of those moments. There is something about being outside in the wee small hours of the morning while the children and husbands are home asleep that we remember that we still exist and we can focus on ourselves! Thank God for that! I found your blog through swift ladies and am so glad to know you. Still waiting to meet up on a run!
    Congrats to you and your friend! And all the dreams that still lay in their box waiting….

  10. I hope someday I can send a text like that. About something I wrote. And my tears right now are over the permanent injury that keeps my from my running friends – they were life-changers for me.

    • Kirsten, I am so sorry to hear about your injury. I was on crutches in late May and could barely handle my daily existence without the release of exercise. Keep writing!! Best of luck to you!

  11. This is magical! What a wonderful story about friendship and life and encouragement. Thank you for sharing! Now I need to go find myself a running partner…

  12. This is absolutely beautiful, so happy, so sad but most of expresses the beauty of love and true friendship throughout the years, no matter how close or how far away.

  13. Dreams mean little without actions. Happily, you created footprints of courage for other dreamers. Way to go!

  14. Beautiful. I’ll bet your BFF, who is now a nurse, is crying her eyes out after reading this–I would be. Congrats to you both. This is what friendship looks like. 🙂

    • I bawled while I wrote it. She texted me, “I can’t stop crying.” I texted her, “stop it. Go read my piece.” She read it. Texted me back, “I’m crying so hard I can no longer see!” It was a great day. Thank you for reading and sharing!!! XO

  15. Awesome as usual Bethany! It just goes to show you that with love and support, dedication, and a lot of patience and hard work, dreams can be accomplished! Thank you for sharing this beautiful story!

  16. Loved this ……I will send to my bestie…

    I just returned from Australia and spent time with my closest friend who is going thru a sad separation from her husband .

    Funny thing was after not seeing each other after 10 years , we drank too much wine , laughed , cried , and ran ……..just like we used too and the were are you it should be !!!
    Thanks Bethany xx

    • Michelle, I’m sorry to hear about your friend! But it’s so nice when you have a friendship you can slip back into like a favorite pair of shoes. My little nurse will be a parent at school this year, and I look forward to dragging her down to Valley Green to catch up over some morning runs!

      Thanks for reading!! Have a wonderful rest of summer!! XO

    • Lindsey, if it makes you feel any better, almost everything has been tucked back into my box during these summer months, when all the boys are home, and it basically feels like I am not allowed to be a person. I’m the one who washes the wet towels and hands out the food. But back to making dreams come true once they are back to school in September! Hang in there…long days, but fast years! Thanks for reading!

  17. I LOVED this blog post. Can’t wait to see others you have written. This one made me cry, I have to say. So fitting for this time in our lives when we have put our kids first for so long and maybe even forgotten who we are and what we need or want. So exciting you and your running partner made your dreams reality. I may ask you for tips 😉

    • Denise, that’s exactly what we do at this time in our lives. And it’s such a slippery slope. We put the kids first with the very best intentions and sometimes we forget about ourselves. I feel lucky that I have a friend who understands me as well as my little nurse does.

      You may also relate to a piece I wrote this spring called On How Not to Disappear. It is a letter to my yoga instructor. You don’t have to practice yoga to get it. You really just have to be a Mom. Thank you so much for reading!

  18. Wow! A friend shared this on facebook and I am so glad that she did. What an amazing story and though I don’t know either of these women I was moved to tears and proud of their accomplishments. What an inspiration both of you are!

  19. This story is so inspiring and lovely. I run with a gorgeous mum and although we haven’t been doing it as much lately I’ve sent this to her and suggested we organise our next run! So great to hear about women supporting each other.

    • So happy to hear that, Gemma! I took a bit of a break from running until recently, and I didn’t realize how much I’d missed it until I got back out there again. It just makes me happy about life. So glad there is an amazing community of women who understand why I’m so enamored with it!

    • Thank you so much, Shannon! I feel lucky that my nurse friend and I celebrate each other. It’s rare and special.

  20. My kids are 15 and 16 and I’ve just started studying again… Thank you for this , it will help with the ‘scared’….and for the record, you are a great writer.

    • Good for you, Naomi! It’s scary, isn’t it? And it shouldn’t, because we raised people. There’s nothing scarier than that. Thank you so much for your kind words!

  21. Congratulations to the two of you!!!!! For your friendship and encouragement of one another and for reaching for and attaining your dreams!!!! Congrats!!!! LOVE this post!

  22. I love this so much I’m blubbering into my wine. My closest friend is moving out of state on Saturday. I’ll just continue cheering her on from far away and I know she will do the same and then I’ll ask her daily when she’s coming back.
    So glad you two have each other.

    • Road trip, baby. Make sure you don’t schedule your visit to her during BlogHer 2014 cuz we are not going to miss that party two years in a row. Speaking of blubbering into my wine. Thank you for reading!!! XO

  23. Just read this for the third time. And cried like a baby (while smiling ear to ear) for the third time. Congrats to you and your nurse on achieving your dreams. Well done!

    • Amy, thank you 3 times over for reading! I feel really lucky for the response that this piece is getting. It reinforces that we all believe in the power of dreams and the importance of friendships.

  24. perfection. all around perfection.
    i have a big smile on my face, my heart is too big for my chest and i’m tearing up.
    you know who my “running” partner is. and we are finally fulfilling our dream too…thanks to YOUR encouragement.

  25. Wow! I shared this with all my running girls because it is spot on. The conversations we have along Forbidden are my encouragement & empathy. A sisterhood that only other runners can understand, you hit the nail on the head.

    • If the trees along Forbidden Drive could talk, I’d be in witness protection. So glad you can relate! Thank you for sharing!!!

  26. I just startled my son by yelling out “Yes!” when I got to the punchline of this story. What an incredible (and inspirational!) journey you have shared with your friend. Congratulations to both of you! xo

  27. This made me cry. Not only because I’m happy for you guys, but because on July 25th, as I walked out of my last nursing school final ever, I texted the same thing to my best friend. 🙂 I know that feeling, and it’s amazing.

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