In high school, college, my twenties and early thirties, I was extremely social. I rarely did things alone. I had many friends, but never remember having to work at it. Life luckily just handed them to me and I had the time to maintain those friendships effortlessly.
Times change. You have kids, lose sleep and suddenly priorities change. I cherish my time alone. I don’t have a lot of girlfriends and it’s okay. Friends can be a lot of work. When I met Chris, I had a large social group. I moved from Minneapolis to Wisconsin and that group shrunk significantly. I stay in contact with one couple. When we moved to Utah, the few friends I had shrunk to even a smaller number. It's all been fine, though. Life with babies just consumed me.
Having more time at home now, I am suddenly aware that I am friend-deficient. Not that I really care, but it has just become more apparent. I have great neighbors – those friendships have come easily. In fact I cherish my Saturday night casual dinners with one couple in particular, but I think I’m finally ready. Ready to expand my friendship circle. Ready to call people and set up get-togethers. Ready to return phone calls (a problem I’ve had for the last few years). Ready to work at being a good friend.
I wait for Harry daily outside his school and watch the other mothers chit chatting. They all seem to know each other. I stand alone each day, leaning on the tree by the sidewalk, hoping that Harrison has remembered his lunchbox. Twenty five of 26 days, he forgets it in the bucket they store them in. Unlike in the past, I'm starting to feel a little left out.
However, I think I’ve met someone I might be interested in. She has a boy Harrison’s age, and a girl a little older than Ella, but in her class. We greet each other almost daily picking up our girls. We’ve had a few playdates with the kids so I feel like we’re on the right track. She’s lived in Utah a long time, but is originally from the Midwest and we seem to have a natural connection due to our upbringing.
She came over to pick up her daughter last evening and I offered her a cocktail. She excitedly accepted and ended up staying for a couple of hours. It was really easy, but I felt like I was on a first date. I told a lot of stories that started in the middle and had no ending. I apologized for a lot of things and felt a little self conscious about the flour all over my sweater (I was baking sugar cut-out cookies). She didn’t seem to mind and even helped with the dishes.
This may be the beginning of something wonderful.