Dedicated to D, H, L and E
I have a lot of friends. 394 Facebook friends to be exact. Ok that’s really not that many. Some of you have fewer, and some of you have way more.
Some you see on a regular basis, some you haven’t seen since the 6th grade. It’s no wonder we have so many friends – when you stop to think about all of the phases in your life where you inevitably meet new ones: growing up, college, your significant other’s friends, work, your kid’s friend’s parents! Some have a bond that sticks with you and some you think of fondly on occasion.
Recently, circumstances have had me pondering one very special group of friends. These women were my very first “Mom Friends”. Ten years ago when my first child was in daycare I met these five ladies. Granted, the last time I saw any of them was at my baby shower for my now 2-year old. That is shameful. But you know how it is!
Life, work, household, kids, sports… leaves little time for you, let alone friends. Multiply that by all five of us and well, that’s just life right? Once school age hit, our kids were separated by school district boundaries or moving to a better school district, and one even moved hundreds of miles away for a job they couldn’t pass up. That’s just life, right?
Then, not that long ago, one of us was dealt something awful. Our first instinct was to cling to each other. How do we process, how do we help? I realized how fiercely important these women I haven’t seen in years are to me and I had to wonder, “WOW. Why is that?” Because our bond is so strong over time and distance but why? I had an epiphany that I just had to share. Because maybe I would have paid a bit more attention to these relationships if I knew how special they were, and they truly are not something you cannot cultivate ever again.
The key factor, the common denominator, the super special secret ingredient is that for all five of us, this was our first child. We were DESPERATELY looking for anyone who could relate to the shit show that is the very first year of the very first infant in your life! I think we passed each other every day with smiles on the outside, panic on the inside.
I needed people who were going through what I was going through. Particularly since they all seemed to have it so much more locked down than I felt. We all only had one child, so we actually had time to schedule playdates at the park. Schlep just one child with all of their accessories over to your house for a nice dinner? SURE! Easy peasy. We BBQ’d and bonded for a blissful five years.
In that time, many of us had our 2nd born – right on schedule with each other. Round 2! We got this. Our oldest played with each of their oldest, our babies with their babies. Girls, boys – it didn’t matter. But once kindergarten hit, all that life stuff I mentioned before took us in multiple directions. We stayed in touch, made it to milestone events, but gone were the relaxing park playdates and cozy dinners.
I never sought out parents of the babies my daughter went to daycare with. I’d been in the game for 2 years, no longer the deer-in-headlights parent I had been with my son. Plus I had this circle of ladies, I wasn’t looking to replace them. Now, of course, I have amazing friends who are the parents of my daughter’s friends! Quite honestly, those women will be friends for life – our relationship is easy to nurture, I see them every day and twice on Sundays at school, activities, sleepovers!
But in my heart of hearts I have a bond with those 4 amazing women that is physically impossible to replicate.