My four-year old daughter, Nya, has been attending a family home care provider for the past eight weeks, and has met a few new friends this summer. These new friends come from different backgrounds and sets of values. One thing that I like most about the family home care provider is that the children have an opportunity to build relationships with those that are different from them. This makes picking Nya up difficult every day, because she has grown accustomed to saying goodbye to each of her friends in different ways.
On one particular day, I was running late from work (my growing baby has squished my bladder to an almost non-existent organ…I just couldn’t hold it!) and Nya was the last child to be picked up. Nya looked so sad and I asked her what was wrong; she said, “Where are all my friends?” I explained to her that they were all picked up on time and that they would be there tomorrow to say good morning to her (we’re usually late in the mornings too…I know, I know!)
On the ride home, I began to ponder my daughter’s question, and I began to internalize her exact thoughts. I haven’t seen many of my friends in years. I’m not referring to those associates that I used to go out with for occasional drinks, or the colleague whom I talk with to catch up on workplace gossip. I mean the best friend who I cried with when she lost her first child to miscarriage, or the friend who let me sleepover on her sofa after studying late every night during graduate school.
Motherhood and wife-land can be very consuming on your personal life; I mean let’s face it our lives become all about their lives (our husbands and children). My attempts to have meaningful phone conversations get strangled by a hectic work schedule, fights over toys or rushing to straighten the house up before hubby gets home.
I believe that friendships are like inexpensive therapy that works! The advice is immeasurable and keeps you from losing your mind…or God-forbid hurting someone. My friends and I have decided to host a small get together this summer, because we realized that we’ve grown accustomed to saying goodbye to each other without even uttering the words. I’m excited, like Nya is with her own friends, to seeing each of their familiar and smiling faces as they embrace me with non-judgmental thoughts and unscripted honesty.
Where are all of your friends?