Sunday, April 17, 2011

Make New Friends and Keep the Old
One Is Silver And the Other Gold

This post has been brewing in my mind for months.  I can never get it to stay on one straight trajectory, though.  I wanted to tackle the topic in this post, but then it took a walk through a completely different part of my brain.

So let's try this again.

I'll write a separate post about my kids and their friends.  That has been the biggest focus of our lives (and my mind) lately.  I'm doing my best to put all my stuff on hold so that my kids (most especially my oldest who are very much smack dab in the middle of the "Best friends" mindset) can spend as much time as possible with their very best friends.  That, however, is another post for another day.

Instead, I'll focus on my reaction and my friends.

Today, I drove through a part of town where some friends used to live when our kids were small.  I passed the restaurants were one friend and I often lined up our girls side-by-side in high chairs.  Just a few blocks from there, I passed the street where another friend once lived and remembered her son's second birthday, where my oldests (just shy of 2 at the time) were introduced to karaoke.  All those friends, while still in state, have long since moved away from that neighborhood.

I won't have those moments when I move.  I won't have those friends who sat alongside me on the park bench nursing our oldest babies.  There won't be anyone who knew my kids when they were smaller.  There will be no one who has any shared experiences with me at all.

Here, I venture out to Target and run into a friend I haven't seen in years, one who attended the same "Baby Basics" class with me when we were pregnant the first time.  When my big two ask who she is, I say, "You and her son played in playgroup together when you were babies."  I won't be able to say that about anyone in Washington.

My kids (and I) want to see the newly returned elephants at the zoo.  Here, I can text a friend and make plans for the next day.  While we're there (at the zoo my children know well enough to give tours because we've come frequently ever since they were 6 months old) thoroughly enjoying ourselves, I run into a number of people I know and stop to chat.  My kids say, "Hi," to a friend from Hebrew school who passes by.  When my son was a baby, I declared, "I never go to the zoo without running into someone I know."  That has held true for years.  That, however, won't be the case when we move.

A mom I really like, but don't spend nearly enough time with, walks along side me while our girls walk ahead discussing their favorite books and our boys run around and around AND AROUND us.  She tells me, "We're going to miss you."  She has no idea how mutual that feeling is.

I look at my friends' kids that I've know since they were newborns and I realize they'll be frozen in my mind at their current 4/6/8/10 years old.  I've been there for these kids' first steps, first karate classes, dance shows, first time they wrote their names, etc., but that ends now.  When they hit their next milestones, I won't be there in the audience to see it.  

A friend posts on Facebook, "I got a girl's number at beer fest. Sweet! (making friends post college is hard!)"  I nod quietly to myself and sigh thinking that it's not fair that I'm leaving these awesome friends behind for the huge abyss that is the friendless unknown.


1 comment:

  1. I live in Washington. I moved here almost four years ago after living in one place for eight years (in Utah). I had both my girls while living there. I was excited to move but had the same reservations. I was so upset to leave all my friends--As we drove away six good friends and their families stood on my driveway and cried with me. It was hard. So hard that I resolved to not make new friends in Washington (largely because I thought we would only be here a year or so and didn't want to go through that again!). After four or five months I realized I was really lonely. I started talking to mothers of my daughters and made lots of new friends. They don't have memories of my girls as babies. They weren't in the hospital having a baby the same time I was, like my neighbor and dear friend in Utah. But they are great. We have made new memories. And I am still close with several of my old friends. We visit, mostly they visit. It works. And now I have more friends. Good luck. Sorry for the book length post. It just struck me, as we are thinking of moving again and I dread all of that.


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