Several years ago, the summer after The Princess was born, I joined a women's online running forum. This group gave me a couple of things I desperately needed at the time, motivation to run and somewhere to speak in English.
The cast of character on the forum has changed and grown over the years and I really do feel as though I come to know a lot of these women, their stories, their worries, their lives. Of course, I was always well protected from any unpleasant realities of the group (like they were really all big fat smelly men who liked sitting in their underwear, drinking beers and watching marathon runners on TV) because I lived across a very big ocean.
That was, until Magali showed up.
All of the sudden, I had someone on the site who knew what was happening in my part of the world. Someone who was suffering roughly the same kind of weather and buying her running gear at Decathlon, just like me.
We met for the first time in "real life" when I ran the Paris Half Marathon. Magali and another woman from the site, who was living in Germany at the time, met me for dinner the Friday night before the race. I must admit, I was terrified to meet up with these two. I had no idea what to expect and no idea where I could go and hide in Paris if things went really awful.
I shouldn't have been worried. Magali is wonderful. (And so is our other friend, but this post is about Magali! I'll get to you another time, Sephora!)
Magali's a traveller, an artist, a runner, a sensitive soul. She is happiest comfortably ensconced in a couch, hot cup of tea in hand, writing or drawing whatever is inspiring her at that moment. Which is why it is so damn funny to us that she seems to like coming back to the Birth Control Bed & Breakfast so often.
This place is loud, this place is crazy, and here, Magali, ends up becoming a safety security officer. I can't vouch for how many near heart attacks she's had here, but I'm thinking it's good for her sprint training!
She also ends up having long, in depth conversations with Mini-Husband and The Princess about all kinds of matters of life and living. They'll be huddled around the dining room table, conversation flowing, using a level of French that gets reserved only for native speakers. All three of them, discussing, challenging, sharing. It's beautiful to see your kids interested and enthralled by your friend.
Magali is a wonderful find. She's become our good friend and the kids' tante.
I'm ever so glad she showed up on the running site. And I'm even more glad that she's not really a bald, 40 year old man wearing a sports bra on her head.