It is funny how friends evolve over time.
When I was young, I played mostly with the kids on my block. It
was all about proximity. It had absolutely nothing to do with
common hobbies or compatible personalities. Yet when the girls I
grew up with took an early interest in boys and dating around the
6th grade, I was quickly left behind. Friends could sniff out my
over-protective parents from a mile away. There would be no
sneaking beers or boys into our basement unless you were willing to
take your life into your own hands. My dad was a scary man. And he
owned a gun.
I was a little lost and friendless when I began the horror more
commonly known as junior high school. Thankfully, a couple of
classes introduced me to the merry band of honor students who would
help guide me through the social landmines and pitfalls of junior
high and high school. We shared a love of all things shabby geek.
Gin rummy. PBS' NOVA series. Greek mythology. It was all
tragically uncool, but at least we had each other.
In college, nobody was aware of my painfully long history of
extreme dorkiness. I was able to make new friends. Hipster
friends. Friends who drank beer and listened to alternative
music and played in rock bands. I had somehow morphed into a
regular person who people didn't sit next to merely because they
wanted to copy answers from my test.
After college, I had a rapid influx of new and exciting work
friends. We were all in our 20s, all living downtown, and all
completely broke. We were like the show Friends but
without the trendy clothing or catchy theme song.
Then I became a mom. Most of the high school and college friends
were distant memories, separated by geography and time. Many of the
work friends were still single. They basically gave me up for dead
once I had a baby. I was terribly lonely and again felt like that
6th grade girl abandoned by those who wouldn't be caught dead in a
And that's when it happened.
I found mom friends.
I love my mom friends. They are the ones who whisper the
teacher's name into my ear at parent-teacher conferences because I
never remember anything. They are the ones who volunteer to watch
my kids so I can finally go to an OBGYN appointment by
myself. They are the ones who don't expect me to be remotely
interesting because who has that kind of energy anymore? They are
the ones who have provided the most love, support, and
encouragement throughout this most wild and woolly parenting
Not that they're perfect, mind you. They still openly mock me
because of my flair for the Tiger Mom ("You're not seriously
considering signing your kids up for summer chess camp?").
They badger me to cook something besides Quaker Instant Oatmeal for
dinner. They stand in open opposition to my Red Bull habit. But
these Mom Friends tease me with a gentle humor and a strong belief
that nobody has this whole mothering thing quite figured out.
And then of course they hide my brochures for Marine Biology
Marianne is mother of three sons and the wife of a southside Irish fireman. She has learned that sometimes you're just too dumb to know what makes you happy. She blogs regularly at We Band of Mothers (webandofmothers.com) and curses with even greater frequency. Her material is written for the imperfect, the imprudent, and the impatient mothers who know that all this stuff is really very funny if you just give it a minute.
See more of Marianne's stories here.
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