There is a phase in friendship where all feels natural and wonderfully close, but there is a phase right before all that loveliness that feels like a lot of work. As thirty-somethings with three kids, there is not the abundance of time that we once had during college days to forge friendships – through all night gab sessions over beer and mediocre pizza. Most recently we were making baby friends. This is a special phase where new parents support one another with bleary-eyed conversation fueled by coffee and wine, all while googling over our new little lovelies. But time goes on, and relationships shift. Families begin to reallocate time and energy resources to the school community. It makes sense, I get it. We’ll be there soon. With Sam starting kindergarten this fall, I am really looking forward to settling into that new community and being a part of things too.
But right now, this minute, we are in a funny place. We have friends, lots of great friends – some near and some far. Yet, I see that we (and they) are all in transition. Everyone is so damn busy! It is tough to actually carve out time to see one another. People talk about the times in one’s life when close friends are made: early childhood, high school, college, post-college work, when babies are born, and when those babies start elementary school and you meet those kids’ parents… The cycle goes on and on. Plus, add to that the many geographical moves that take us away from loved ones, and there you have it. We’re currently in between. It feels like we are starting over (again).
I yearn to jump forward to a place with a cozy group of friends that feels comfortable, like your favorite hoodie. The one you reach for when you just want to be yourself, to be known. Lately, as we meet new folks and try to find our way, it feels like wearing beautiful heels all the time. The ones that you take off the minute you walk through your front door… And maybe that’s the problem. Eureka! Maybe I have solved it after all! We need to go out into the world with a big smile and favorite-sweatshirt-attitude versus a high-heels-attitude. We’re nice people. Yes, a bit sleep deprived, but we try not to let this fact get us down. Our favorite shows are: Parenthood (well, obviously) and Mentalist (Simon Baker, enough said). We’re semi-sporty. We enjoy long walks and great conversation. We’re perfecting our creme brulee recipe in hopes of wooing you and yours. Just FYI… we’re looking for some new friends and you might be next on our list. Watch out.
I know that this bit of discomfort will pass. Like everything else, it will shift and change. In a few weeks, or months, or years (please god, no), we will nudge each other and say… “Wow! Look at this group of friends we are a part of! I don’t even remember a time when George, and Sally, and Sue weren’t around!” Its probably just around the corner…