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I will never forget the song we used to sing when I was little in Girl Scouts, “make new friends, but keep the old…”
I am blessed to be close to my girlfriends I grew up and went to high school with. I’ve now been to many of their weddings, baby showers and homes for date night. I still hang out with former co-workers and friends I’ve met through other people and continue to make. I remember being nervous about my parents dropping me off at college and my mom reminding me, “remember when you got kicked out of class in 4th grade for talking too much, you’ll be fine and will make new friends easily.” I’m not an introvert by any means, but making new “mom” friends is a bit of a challenge.
Is it harder now? Maybe it’s because you’re juggling. One eye on the kids, one ear to the mom. I’m trying to make sure my older daughter is sharing while my youngest doesn’t fall on her face while she tries to run.
Often times it’s a common thread that bonds a friendship. When I was young, it was simply proximity. Whoever I shared the bus with going to school or had had the same homeroom, who was on the same team or even who your parents were friends with first. As I grew older, I gained confidence and started to pick and choose the people I wanted to spend time with. Then in college, I developed friendships with some people in my major while weeding out the ones I’d rather see only in class. After that, it was off to the “real world!” Not knowing a single person within 500 miles of my first job was a little frightening, but again, I made some amazing friends. Some, who shared the same miserable overnight schedule I did, others through circumstance.
I have befriended some of the most amazing people throughout my life. I’m proud to say many of them I consider to be life-long friends. I stay in touch with a few from college (thank you Facebook!) and a handful from moving around for my career.
I don’t live very close to most of my friends, so now I find myself trying to make new mommy friends in my community. It’s funny, because at some of the places I frequent, play places, libraries, parks, etc, I’m finding my two and a half year old and I seem to be in a parallel position. I watch her, as she studies the older kids when we go places, sometimes backing off when an aggressive older kid is about to run her over, and other times, standing her ground when someone demands a toy back. Inside, I’m thinking, “good for you!” “I’m proud of you”, but I try and just let her do her thing. She’s going to preschool in the fall and I know I have to let her get used to the idea of “fighting” her own battles and figuring out how to share with kids her own age. I think I’m also trying to “feel out” the same sort of things, obviously on an adult level. I’ve had many friendly conversations with the mommy’s I’m meeting, but, I guess in a way, it almost feels like dating, I’ve exchanged no numbers and there’s no play dates scheduled as of yet! I guess, like friendships of the past, it’ll take a little while to develop those bonds.