Oh, let me clarify. I have friends. Good friends. But it often feels that I don't. But I do. Get it?
In the last months of my pregnancy with Elliot, I met and became close with another first-time mama. We really hit it off. Em was funny and raunchy and real. We talked about everything, for hours. Her daughter was 6 weeks older than Elliot. She would drop her husband off at work and come over. We'd drink coffee and moan about sleepless nights, poop and breastfeeding woes. Encourage each other. Share triumphs. The kids would lay on the floor and coo. (As Elliot got older and stronger, he'd drag himself over to her, crawl on top and suck her face. She'd cry. We'd laugh and separate them. And repeat.)
We went to mommy and me yoga. Mommy and me swimming. Mommy and me movies. We were always on the go. We both were struggling with postpartum depression. There was always an understanding adult with a shoulder to lean on and tears and laughter to share. We'd move on to wine and cheese in the middle of the day, especially if her husband kept the car and would be picking her up. We went on a week-long trip with the kids, too, on an airplane, even!
|After Elliot's first plane ride... 5 mths old|
While pregnant with Felix, I met another mama my age, who was also expecting her second. Her daughter was a bit younger than Elliot. They lived close by. We started hanging out at a local kid-friendly coffee shop. At the playground. Her place. My place. We would gab, the kids would wrestle and play. When my boys got chicken pox, she brought her girls over for one of those controversial Pox Parties. I learned a lot about parenting from her - she was much calmer than me, more dedicated (her kids barely knew what TV was!), they were mostly vegetarian. Very environmentally conscious. They were Good People. I felt I could become a better person, a better friend, by being so close. My identity changed to parallel hers.
|Overview of a pox party|
Again, there was a move. I still get misty walking by their house. And again, that long-distance thing. I suck.
I have friendship. But what I'm missing could better be described as companionship. Accomplice-ship. Just having another grown up around, all the time or at least frequently, to take the pressure off, to talk with, commiserate and share with. I've withdrawn into myself, into the internet way more than I had previously. While never an extrovert, I'm now bordering on hermit. And I don't feel like exerting the energy needed to make new friends or make the effort with the friends I do have. Going back to school? Terrifies me. There are new people there. I have to make connections. Talk to people. But I'm doing it. Probably the best thing I can do for myself, actually.
|Tasty, though inappropriate given this article.|
Then again, maybe I'm just lazy and looking for excuses, and easy way out of trials and tribulation of parenting, life, dishes and growing up. Whatever it is, I need to figure it out.