As a child, anyone can be your friend, even the mean ones. At the park, I watched my son go up to two girls and introduce himself as, “The Green Ninja.” They made some rude comment and ran away from him. My son went about his business and later told me they were his friends.
Then, when you enter school, the fun begins. Finding friends in middle school is like playing musical chairs. When the music stopped you jumped into whatever “clique” you could find just so you weren’t the one left standing. Alone. At the lunch table.
And high school was definitely about getting friends, but the kind with the word boy in front.
In college there were friends, but mostly the kind that would leave you at a bar without telling you because they met another friend. Also, the kind with the word boy in front.
You collect all sorts of friends along the way. Some closer than others. And then you get a little older, get married, and have kids. That’s what I did anyway, and along the way I met you.
Over the years, you have become my dear friend, my closest companion, and one of my few friends without kids. And although we share many thing and have a uniquely honest relationship, there is one thing I have never said to you:
I am so happy you don’t have children.
When I was pregnant at the same time as some of my friends, I was so excited. You think you have solidified instant friends forever for your children and yourself, but what you don’t realize is that sometimes children don’t get along. And I have a son who can be kind of wild and thrives in certain environments better than others. Sometimes, I can’t take him certain places because he has difficulty in situations where he goes into sensory overload. The other thing you don’t realize about hanging out with other moms, besides the main topic of conversation being about saggy boobs and organic baby food, is that you don’t really get to see them that much. Play dates are constantly cancelled because the germ-magnets are sick or the mom is sick because we’ve caught what the germ monsters have spread. Seems like these days kids have a more packed schedule than most adults. They have karate or swim lessons. Family comes from out of town to see them. Kids are like mini celebrities and moms are like their agents.
But you, every baby shower and kids birthday party, you are there. Every bad day, you are the one I call. My children adore you. You understand my son like no other. I get to see you more, and I can tell you the ridiculous parenting decisions I have made and you don’t judge.
Basically, I love you because you are like my clear nail polish.
Did you know that clear nail polish is an awesome thing to have with you at all times? It can stop your shoelaces from fraying. If applied just where the thread meets the button, it can keep your buttons from coming off. It can keep your stockings from running, seal an envelope, tighten loose screws, waterproof matches, and fix window screens. You can coat the bottom of a shaving cream can so it won’t rust and create a circle on your tub. Basically, my friend, you are a lifesaver. Having you around just makes things better. You help me clean up my messes. You have a resolution when things don’t go as planned, and you’re always there if I need to chat.
We’ve been on many adventures together, and you have witnessed me go through the scariest of all ventures; having a husband and children at the same time. You have seen me break down, give up, and want to get lost on purpose. Without you, my marriage would be rusty and my children would be the loose screws. And I would probably be the wet match.
What I’m getting at is that you will (or would) make a great mother one day if that’s the path you choose. But between us, I have to tell you that, for now, I’m glad you don’t have kids. How in the world would I raise my husband without you? I mean my children without you.
Related post: The Code Between Childhood Friends