Whenever I make a new friend (which doesn’t happen all that often), there’s this feeling-out-the-relationship phase during which I’m a little bit cautious. Because there are some moms who truly want to build a friendship with me, and others who want to build a friendship with me and my kids. And there’s the rub — I’m just so not interested in “playdates” anymore. I want to get to know you, not your kids.
Don’t get me wrong. If our kids are already friends, then it’s wonderful — bring them here, or I’ll come there and we’ll have several uninterrupted hours of conversation over tea (or something stronger) while they children entertain themselves. But it’s been years since I’ve felt like dragging my kids to a house to meet new children, just so I can see if the mom and I have something in common. Because most kids have plenty of friends through school, activities, and the neighborhood.
In the past several years, I’ve enjoyed getting to know some wonderful women sans children. And I’ve come to realize that the older I get, the more work a friendship is. And that I can’t nurture a friendship in the constant company of little children. I owe it to myself and the other mother to take the time to see if we have anything in common.
This is why a college friend and I try to meet alone for dinner once a month. And why I’m willing to meet up with a girlfriend after 9pm, when I’m really, really tired — just so we both have husbands home from work to watch the kids. And why, if I haven’t seen a friend in ages and need some desperate bonding, I’m even willing to hire a babysitter so I can get out of the house without kids. And why I formed a book club, with the dearest and liveliest group of women I know.
On another note, I am always amazed by how big the hearts are of couples who adopt special needs kids. But this battle faced by a homosexual couple is unbelievable.