Monday, January 31, 2011


When we moved to Rochester, we were young and didn't have kids. We spent evenings with our friends who didn't have kids, playing video games, or went out for dinner. We were the first of our friends to get pregnant and things changed. It wasn't that we weren't invited to go out or didn't play video games, but the vibe changed. We changed.

We had this desperate need to have a house. Okay, I had this need - call it nesting - and we bought a house. We became "responsible" and stuff...little did we know that we were, really, nothing short of naive and a dollar short. We were kids, pups, young bucks thinking we were all that at 28 and 29 having our first baby. We thought we were so prepared, so ready, so, um, grown up.


Yeah, I know. We fell off the planet when we had kids. It wasn't that our friends weren't around or supportive, but there isn't much to talk about when twenty four hours a day the mind is spinning in babybabybabybabybaby. I became a social idiot, trying desperately to fit in without talking about my new kid all the time. Who wants to know about the adorableness of spit bubbles? Who really needs to know about my struggle with pumping at work? Who needs to know how hard adjusting to having a baby is for a marriage? Who needs to know that? Really? Not my friends without kids. Then something glorious happened.

Yes, some of my friends started having kids, but really it came in this new fangled thing, this wonderful, eye opening thing:

Play dates.

Indeed, other moms wanted to throttle their kids sometimes (figuratively, people, relax). Other moms DID want to talk about the pressures of parenting and pumping. Other moms did understand the cuteness of spit bubbles and coos! It was amazing! It was eye opening It was, dare I say, life. changing. I KNOW, right? I belonged. I wasn't crazy, weird, or out of place. It was awesome.

As our boys grow older, our friendships shift and change. We have become better friends with parents of Drew's friends and have been mindful to get to know parents of his friends to make sure our values align. My friend, M, has taught me how important it is to make sure the families are a good fit. She is the queen of socializing and makes sure all the moms of our 2nd grade class feel welcomed and invited to get to know one another. I appreciate her verve and passion so much, especially as one of the moms unable to volunteer in the classroom very often. M knows what is happening in the classroom, with the kids, and around the school because of her investment in her kids. I'm lucky our boys became friends - because it brought me her friendship.

As the boys embark on sports, I'm sure more friends will come, different but the same. The nice thing is that as we meet like-minded families, our kids become fast friends and look forward to seeing all their different friends. Our lives shift and change. Our friendships ebb and flow, but what is so nice, so great, is what I learn as we continue on this crazy, fast tracked path called parenting. It isn't what the books say it will be, and there is no easy answer. But what I can say is it is easier and better with friends who are in the same place and who want to talk about it - good and bad - with love at the heart.

No comments: