There was once a time, years ago, when it seemed like all my friends were boys. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course, but there is also nothing like hanging out with a girl friend or a small group of ladies that you feel totally comfortable with. I remember desperately missing that in my life and wondering if I would ever have those “best friend” relationships that meant the whole world when I was a kid. Hearing Mia list all her best friends reinforces that feeling that we really do crave and need those kinds of companionship, even at an early age – but it isn’t always easy to find now, is it?
When Mia was a baby, I found a group of new mom friends in the neighborhood who I’d meet with every week. It was rather easy to meet other new parents here even if you weren’t particularly outgoing or good at reaching out to strangers. I don’t know if you ever forget your first mom friends. The first year or so of having your first baby is a big bonding experience. Even if you don’t have anything else in common, you have this, and being new parents is a big enough commonality that it can trump anything else. I don’t want to say that I had a friend “type” in my pre-baby years, but I did, only because common interests bring people together to the same places, whether it’s at school, a job, or a community of like-minded people. So when I started meeting people outside of the artist/designer/musician/chef/computer geek types – people who were lawyers and bankers and who had other corporate type jobs – it was sort of a novel thing as far as friendships go.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately as I’ve been marveling at how rich my friendships have become in the last 2 or so years. For many years it was all about being friends with other neighborhood parents. It was just easier to socialize this way and in many cases, the only way to socialize. It was great and fun and one of my fondest memories of being a new parent. These friendships shaped the way that I approached parenthood and they meant the world to me. But I’ve recently realized that many of those friendships have naturally drifted. I’m a totally sappy person and I would never want to admit this, but I guess sometimes friendships just run their course. Maybe we’ve moved on.
These days I have made most of my friendships online. It is both totally strange if you think about it, but totally amazing. I feel lucky enough to live in a city where many people will breeze through on various business and visits, so that these online friendships become real life friendships too. I’ve also gravitated towards people with the same interests again. Now that I’m a parent of school age kids, I don’t feel like my conversations need to center around my children and in fact when I am out with friends, I don’t necessarily want to talk about my kids. Many of my newer friends aren’t even parents!
I’m in love with all the friendships I have made over the past 2 years, many of which I’ve written about on this blog. To go out at night with ladies like Anna, Jen and Tamera, to plan these get togethers even though Jen and Tamera don’t even live in NY, to wander around the East Village on a Saturday night from one place to the next, and to sit around and talk about lady things. To feel a bit like my own person, not someone’s mom, for a long evening.
But when I get back home, I get back home to this. The girls never fail to leave me a good night note to place on top of my computer. Love. I finally feel like I’ve achieved some kind of balance in my life.