the times, they are a-changin'

January 19, 2010

it's so strange how friendships grow and morph and then fall apart when you move in different directions.  and it's so much clearer when you are the first in your group to procreate.

my close group of ladyfriends are mostly younger than i am, in school (or grad school) and spend their time clubbing with boys and booze and going out to late night parties.  which is fine.  but i've already done that- i've had plenty of nights out where i don't remember anything or arm wrestled a security guard or climbed in a gutter chasing a rat at 3 in the morning.  it was fun at the time.  however at this point i would much rather stay home with a movie and takeout than go to a trendy art show to see people i intensely dislike and spend my money on overpriced cocktails.  when i was married, they were still in school; now i have a baby, they are still out having casual sex (which i guess is a good way for me to bring them over to my side of... having a baby).

i was able to meet up with my beloved ladies over the holidays when everyone was in town and we went out to dinner.  my first dinner out without jude!  it was surreal!  and i worried, though he was already in bed when i left so really what is there to worry about?  after sitting with them for only a few minutes i immediately realized two things:
#1- oh my god, i have missed you SO MUCH and
#2- you don't know anything, anything, about babies or anything that my life currently revolves around.
for example, one of them asked me if jude was walking.  another remarked, when i said i could only have one beer an hour because i was breastfeeding, that she wasn't sure how long you, "did... that."  and i thought in my head at the time WTF? and then later thought about what a jerk i am.

we're at different places in our lives.  i often have to remind myself about it as i bitterly complain to jon that almost all of my friends haven't ever met jude or inquired about him.  we have less and less in common these days even though i still love them desperately.  because it's hard to make friends, to find good ones and keep them.  it's difficult for us to find time to spend together as a group, compounded by the fact that several of them have moved across the country.  and even the ones who do care and ask have a hard time fitting our schedules together to actually see each other.  sometimes i feel angry about it, that they aren't interested at all in my life and have no patience for it.

but i've also been thinking of my (few) friends that have had kids before me.  and now that i know about babies i discovered suddenly that i was one of those people before.  i was my friends now.  a small handful of my friends do have kids and now i find myself thinking about what i crappy friend i was back when they had their babies.  that i could have should have gone the extra mile to call, to visit, to help.  i wish i could go back in time and use my knowledge to support them better, to be a better friend, to be there for them in those first hard months and share their ups and downs.

but, i can't go back in time and use what i know now.  and if i can accept that i was, at one time, a crappy friend, then maybe i can't really be too hard on my own friends.  they're just in another place, like i once was.  and maybe we'll drift apart over it and... that will be alright.

6 comments:

Mrs. Smith

I was the first to have a baby (I got pregnant senior year of college) so I know what you're going through...I drifted apart from my friends...including my best friend at the time...we both moved out of state...she was up all night studying or partying and I was up all night tending to a newborn. We'd talk maybe once every few months but then when she was about to get married we talked more often...and now I talk to her at least once a week (sometimes more)...even though we *still* don't live in the same state. They'll come around eventually and be at the same point you are now -- realizing they should have been there for you, too. :)

Ky (Two Pretzels)

Oh, I love this post. I nodded and smiled the whole time I read it. Right on. Or, write on.

I've been the crappy ladyfriend, too.

Then, after I had Lila - I was like, "Wow, I really should have listened to my BFF more when she was lamenting her sore nipples and "sleep training."

I think that's the beautiful part of this wonderful thing we call, "womanhood."

It's an ever-growing, ever-changing network of varying levels of support. We learn from each one of those crazy, casual-sex-having, baby-wearing women around us.

It's all good.

AthenaBee

EXACTLY where I was about 2 years ago. With my OCD it's next to impossible for me to make new friends, so I'm still bummed over the losses.

Junket

I'm the childless one with all the married friends with children. I'm the godmother to almost all of them, but I still feel like an outcast. Maybe there is just an understood line between mothers and non-mothers. Know what I mean?

JeffD

hmmhmm this post has conflicted me. I think the true could be said vice versa. We (non baby peoples) all understand that those friends of ours have other (pressing) responsibilities now but the effort to stay in touch/communicate/visit must be done by both parties. Initiation of contact and reciprocation must be done on both sides or invariably one party will feel left out or neglected. Relationships must grow and change in order to say healthy.

Mambles

I was nodding and agreeing with this entire post when I first read it the other day, but I wasn't exactly sure what to say in a comment. I guess everyone goes through this "friend transition time" in some way or another - for me it's b/c I'm married and we have stable jobs... most of our friends (even the married ones) are self employed (read: incredibly flexible schedules) or still living with their parents while they are ski bums for the winter...AGAIN. Seriously, at 28, I can't IMAGINE still living with my parents, or have my parents still want me to live with them! We barely talk with any of them anymore, and they've been friends of my husband since elementary school. It's just kind of sad...

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