There’s No End In Friend. Oh, Wait …

Monday, April 5, 2010

There were many things that changed, shifted, morphed into something new when I became a mother. These new versions weren’t bad or dismal, just different. I’ve pretty much gotten the hang of the newness now. In most cases, I’m comfortable and content with my revamped life. But something that changed—and I can’t yet say it’s been for the better—is friendship.

I went to an all-girls, Catholic high school in Montreal (where high school begins in the 7th grade; there’s no middle school). I was the only one from my elementary school who deviated from the usual path—the one leading to the neighborhood’s general high school—so the summer of 6th grade was … not so fun. My grade school friends fell away, an unkind process of “you think you’re better than us” elimination, and I entered high school with a clean friend slate. I started over, made new buddies and had a fun-filled high school experience. (Notwithstanding the headmistress nun, the boxy tunic uniform, and that spiteful, witch-face French teacher.)

I understand how it goes. Sometimes circumstances change. The things you and a group of folks have in common change, too, and you adjust. It’s adjust or stay static and bitter. And bitter is just not my style.

Today, most of my close friends are people I met at York University in Toronto. What’s interesting about college is that it’s our last microcosm; the last time such a large group of people share the same experience at the same time. After that, we are all firing at so many different targets from various angles. For example, of my closer friends, I’m the only one with a young baby. And just two other friends got married.

Clearly, we’re at different stages in our lives. But I liked it that way, kept things lively. When I was pregnant, it was fun to share stories about my expanding waistline, shrinking appetite and crazy subway encounters (New Yorkers relinquish their seats to no one. Get that bulbous belly oudda here, lady!) with my non-prego girlfriends.

When QB officially joined the family, those first few weeks were a bit rough. It was a challenge finding time in between nursing and nurturing for basics like a hot shower, much less a catch-up convo on the phone. E-mail quickly became my preferred mode of communication: I could send a missive after breastfeeding session No. 84 at two o’clock in the morning. Stay in the semi-loop with the goings-on in my friends’ lives while adjusting to mine own. Thank you, BlackBerry, you kept me out from under that rock.

But now, as I have settled into this feeling, into this role called Someone’s Mother, I’ve noticed that the differences have become distances between some of my friends and me. As QB reaches new milestones, our home is bustling, and at two o’clock in the morning, everyone here is sleeping—happily. The gap between phone calls and e-mails grows wider and out of my control.

On those off-chance moments when I do connect with friends, I hesitate about going too deep on details about my baby boy for fear of sounding like one of those parents. You know: And then he did this, and then he said that, and then, even cuter, he did this cute thing while pulling the cute out of the cute and it was covered in cute. SOOO cute. I was even weird about letting all my friends know about this blog, for the same reason: Blades’ brain is awash with mommy hormones, people. No saving her now. It’s a wrap!

Look, I know that relationships change. It’s one of those ironic constants. And I know that some of my friendships are experiencing the ebb and a flow will soon follow. But, if I’m honest, I also know that this is the end of the line for some of those friendships. Like with the summer of 6th grade, the common ground has shifted. I can stay fixed on what used to be, soured that it is no longer, or I can add it to my bag of Time Well-Spent, bringing all the laughter and lessons I’ve collected from those fine friends along with me to the next of the next.

I think you already know which one I’m going with.

  • 1
    Nailah says:

    Life is funny that way. I feel like there is always a continuous ebb and flow of old friends and new friends and old friends made anew. I feel like I’ve settled into a good groove with the friends I have now but who knows what’s in store for us down the road. I think you’re taking the right approach in just remembering the good times and not sweating it too much that things have changed. Plus Quinn is probably much cuter than most of your old friends anyway! :)

  • 2
    Nella says:

    Love this!!! Brings back memories. Will have to share this one with my daughters. Life and friendships do change as you age and i love the way look at it. Embace all!!!