My family photo from 2007 predicted the future


Kelli McCarthy

My three-year-old self with my family enjoying a crisp fall morning, unknowingly sitting next to one of my present best friends.

One of my very closest friends to this day is in the background of one of my family pictures, one from when I was merely 3 years old.

In the 2007 picture, it’s a typical crisp fall morning, and my family—my dad, mom, brother, and I—is perched on some hay bales in the trailer of a tractor, ready to go on a fun hayride and indulge in some Honeycrisp apples at Koetsiers. Little did my three-year-old self know, I was right next to the girl that would become one of my best friends about 9 years later. Sitting not even two feet away from me and my family, there she sat with her younger sister and grandma, most likely relishing a fun day at the pumpkin patch just like I was; neither of us thought anything of it. We were just two random families out for a nice Saturday excursion. 

I wonder what my three-year-old self thought of her as she sat innocently eating an apple. I was probably not thinking, “Hmm, I think that girl over there is going to be one of my best friends when I’m 12.” I imagine we made some sort of conversation as we took the ride; at least our families most likely did. I had no idea that I was talking to one of my future best friends. Of all the people that could’ve taken the hay bale next to me, it was her. 

It’s mind-boggling to think that we were in the same place at the same time 13 years ago.”

Who knew that the random little girl who joined us on the hayride would be one of my best friends to this day. It’s ironic that she was tucked in the background of a family photo, staying hidden in one of the many family photo albums stocked up in my basement all these years. 

As soon as I realized it was her, I immediately texted her the picture, and we both freaked out over how weird and amazing that discovery was. More than anything, I found it so odd that I knew it was her almost instantly. A family photo from many years ago with one of my closest present-day friends in the background is not something I encounter every day. Maybe I should look more closely at the background of other photos; who knows what else I could find. 

I think, ultimately, this image is a sign that we will always be in each other’s lives. I sincerely hope so because now I can say that I met her—one of my very closest friends—when I was merely three years old. It doesn’t matter that we didn’t truly connect until years later because, apparently, I’ve known her all my life