I have been so very blessed in this life to have made some really amazing friends. This is a process that I think we take for granted throughout our childhoods as our days are filled with possibilities. I don’t think we truly appreciate the friendships that we have until we reach a point in our lives when we have to make new friends. I think this is one of the most difficult transitions that a person makes when they become a mom, and even more difficult if they choose to become a stay-at-home mom (or dad, dad’s are certainly not excluded from this). I remember going through a phase after my son was born and the novelty of having a new baby had worn off. People stopped checking in with you on a daily basis, the visits had ended, and the husband had gone back to work. Now what? It was just me and my baby boy (a very demanding and exhausting baby boy) for nearly 7 months. Finally I enrolled in a “Little Gym” class. Well, technically, he enrolled, but let’s face it, it was more for me 🙂 I relished the weekly adult interaction and began to depend on it for my mental well-being. I will never forget the day when, after one of our last classes, another mom came up to me and asked me for my phone number so that we could get together outside of class. It was like…honestly, I can’t describe it! I immediately called my husband to tell him about it, and then felt a little weird for being so transparently excited.
I recently read a blog written by a new “virtual” friend here on WordPress. If you haven’t heard of Momentum Of Joy, please go check her page out. She is an amazing and insightful writer. But recently she wrote a post about friendships http://momentumofjoy.com/2012/06/05/day-6-getting-my-way/ that struck a cord with me. What I realized, and hope she realizes too, is that yes, our children might be our primary link when making new friends these days, but there is so much more to it. Our children will go to different schools, meet new kids every year through being in different classes, grow up a little, discover new things about themselves along the way, change some of their friends, and continue to do this until adulthood. I, on the other hand, don’t choose to do that anymore. I am too old (not “old”, just too old for that). So what my small, but very close group of friends and I just realized (prompted by our children not getting along one day) is that our children may have been our reason for meeting, but they are not our reason for being and remaining friends. If they were, next year when they went to different schools, and different classes yet again, what would happen to us?
I have worked hard to surround myself with like-minded people who bring me joy (not drama) and I am not willing to give that up. So here’s my response to that post. I don’t think it matters where the children go to school or if they remain close friends. If you have been lucky enough to find some friends that bring that joy into your life, then be friends with them. I assure you that even when the kids fight, make new friends, go to different schools…when you decide to hang out with your friends and their families, the kids will play. They will have fun and they will get along. Why? Because their parents have friendships that matter. Children are flexible and loving by nature. They will be ok. I promise. So take care of you and cherish the friendships that you have. And if you feel like expanding that circle, then take a chance. You never know…maybe your “best” friend, the one that you will pick up the phone to call when you’re 80-something, is waiting just around the corner for you 🙂