|Time for friends
I saw this card recently:
Remember when we wanted to change the world?
Now, all we want to do is pee alone?
It is the type of card one girlfriend would give to another and it is so right.
The thing about having kids is that you give up so much of yourself—from your bustline to your privacy in the bathroom. While you can probably anticipate that will happen, it’s other changes that you don’t really understand when you’re pregnant or planning for children. Those changes have to do with your friends. You just don’t have as much time for them. You may see them with your family in tow, and it’s lovely, but it’s not the same as the one-on-one connection you had before. The time and energy you had for them has been replaced by small people who, while adorable and loving, are not the same as that girlfriend who has known you forever.
So, this past weekend, in an effort to reclaim time for friendship, I had 24-hours of girl time, just me and my best friend. We got a hotel room half way between our homes for non-stop conversation (the kind you can only have with a friend who knows everything about you), window shopping, reminiscing, laughing, and even some hand holding. It was a “balm for my soul” as they say.
Our 24-hours of catch-up made me realize two things:
1. Everyone’s life is just as hectic as mine, so I should chill about juggling it all.
2. I am blessed with extraordinary people in my life.
I also reflected upon the nature of friendship. We so easily make friends as children. We think, too, that those friendships will last forever. Some do, but many disappear with the changes of our lives. As adults, making new friends, in a world of so many commitments and where social media sites create a framework for connections of questionable authenticity, developing and cultivating sustained and meaningful personal relationships—outside of the people we meet through our children—is hard.
My mother has managed to retain a group of friends for 60 years. These are tried and true friends who love and care for her, who make her laugh, and who are there whenever she needs them. They are her call-in-the-middle-of-the-night people, her “911 friends.” I’m a bit jealous that they make so much time for one another. But I am also hopeful. Perhaps, after the kids are older, I’ll have time for my friends like she does. Until then, I’ll plan more 24-hours of girl time and squeeze in as many catch-ups and connections as possible.