The other day my friend Sarah told me that, if in five years our circle of friends isn't here, she's glad we're in each others life, even if just for this part. It was what I needed to hear. Not in a rude, way like, good I'm glad I won't have to be putting up with you much longer, but because it's something that I struggle with: living in the here and now, not planning out my next step, but she's right, right here, right now at this stage of my life I have the exact perfect people surrounding me. Funny how that always seems to work out.
I remember my mom taking us to all sorts of random things when we were younger; kite flying day at church, make your own bird feeder at the park, she'd buy art projects for us to do at home (still does) and clips articles of animals once spotted in her grand children's yard and mails it to them, to teach them and because she was hell-bent on making a memory. Except my mother would never say "hell-bent"
Well yesterday was my first mom-forcing-child-to-make-memories-with-an-educational-twist experience. AKA Addiston's first Gymboree class! I've lived here for almost two years now, and I've driven past the place a few dozen times. It's right by one of my favorite malls, yes, that's shallow, but, to tell the truth I thought the mommy track was a few years off but since she arrived I've always wanted to be there, between those bright red and blue padded walls, fully embracing the crazy embarrassing mom within. And now that I have a kid and am, well, hell-bent on filling my mother's shoes, it was high time we made the excursion!
So we did, and she was great, she is most definately her father's daughter but she was great.
She was reserved, taking it all in, watching the little wobbly 14 month old veterans to see how things were done then if she felt confident in her ability to do what they did she'd give it a try. (I'd of been all dude watch me do this crazy trick that I've never done before but sure as the sky is blue I'll probably be able to do it on my first try and better than you ever thought about-humble I know). If someone stole her toy she'd just grab a new one. Totally her father's daughter, just all calm and chill, like oh, ok, you'd like to play with that toy? ok I'll grab this one and we can still be friends.
She tried new things, like crawling up ramps, and balancing on a beam, climbing up odd little purple ladders.
And it was nice, to be the proud mama. Standing there side by side with three time mom's who get excited right along with you. Who are impressed by the fact that your kid didn't shed a single tear at her first class. And impressive she was. But it was nice, to be in the company of my people, the people who get me. The one's that just tilt their head and smile at your pride, it's refreshing and welcomed.
I've been going through this weird funky stage of feeling isolated, I don't know if that's really the right word for it but we don't have a lot of parent friends and while we love our friends it's different, not bad, just different, so when Amy Poehler recently gave the commencement speech to Harvard's Class of 2011, while very funny, it held some poignant truths, that rang out to me:
"Be open to collaboration. Other people and other people's ideas are often better than your own. Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you. Spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life. No one is here today because they did it on their own. ...take your risks now. As you get older, you become more fearful and less flexible..."
I think you can put those words to parenting?!? That it's good to have people who get it, the one's who have the proud smile and extra wipes. But at the same time it's nice to have mostly pre-child friends who can babysit, and have innovative ways to try and get your little one to go to sleep.
So take from it what you will, that you need people around you, all sorts of people, and in the cosmic scheme of things it always works out that the right person is always there. Some people get recycled, they were there when you were 5 helpin you learn to use the bathtub as a slip & slide, and they're there when your 24 and trying to keep your kid from slip & slidin' in the tub. Others are in your life like a one hit wonder, for a brief minute of support and encouragement, givin you the warm heebie geebie feeling then they're gone, but you've got the great memories they left you with.