Friendship is different as an adult. I don’t want to spend my one free evening a week drinking vino with someone other than a GOOD friend. I don’t want to give up time with my man. I don’t want to give up time with my kids. Right now I have little ones. Right now I live in a bubble. A bubble that includes breast-feeding and zero pedicures. When I drink wine, it isn’t after hours of doing my hair with perfect lipstick. No, when I drink wine I’m staring through a glass marked with water stains because I forgot to buy rinse for the dishwasher, at my husband, thankful he loves me just the way I am. I’m thankful I made it through another day of vomit, sticky fingers, runny noses, constant hunger and little girl fighting. My evenings are not spent with girlfriends – getting away from the fray. No, my nights and weekends are spent snuggling little girls, reading bedtime stories, fitting in a shower, princess teas, magical games, braided hair, warm hugs, many kisses, toothless smiles, baby milestones, first words, first READ words, sisterly hugs, dance parties, barbie, and full bellies. I love my family. They are my priority.
I don’t have to be friends with everyone. Nor do I want to. So when Gooner started school I was wary. I didn’t gush on everyone. I didn’t join in on “mothers craft night.” Who even thinks of such a thing? But I did see another mother, if given the right circumstances, thought we could be friends. But we never pursued past drop off and pick up. In fact, I didn’t even know her name.
Until one day in October I saw her in the parking lot. We’d already dropped the girls off and we were both walking back to our vehicles. She looked different. Like maybe something was bothering her. And so I asked her how she was doing. Like Mom to Mom, “are you ok?”
“I have cancer,” she said. And then we hugged. She stared past me at the mountains. Two moms in the school parking lot. Fall leaves whipping about. A shared burden. The realization that life is finite. That you aren’t always in control, if ever.
And so our friendship began. Three little words. The very next day she’d been to the doctor and we had more to talk about. She would be having a double mastectomy. We talked about the angel wing scar.
The day of her surgery I felt weepy. Friends for a moment, but a life time of hurt.