To All The Friends I Had Before Kids: I Miss You

To All The Friends I Had Before Kids: I Miss You

Someday, friend, could we talk again? When our littles are grown? I feel so far away now; my life is a mudslide. I miss you, and knowing you, and those long afternoons we had, with nothing but time.

Back then, we’d shrug off the slight guilt of skipping classes for a long ride to the beach — top down, Mountain Dew popped, and plenty of smokes. The foundation on which our friendship was formed.

But now, we are trapped within our various webs and busy lives. Though we try to escape and to see each other again, the tiny people we call our very own beckon us back to them for school plays, strep throat, skinned knees on the playground.

I feel like you and I play a game of cat and mouse and no one ever wins. There is seemingly never a good time. Next week becomes next month and then I realize it has been years — thousands of days — that I have been too immersed to see you.

When the children were smaller, I felt more available. I had long days to fill up and was eager to chat on the phone while they played happily, pushing trucks on the sand pile. During their naps, I would fix dinner and we would talk while nursing our littles. Talk about what, I have no idea, but it was a way to be connected on a tight rope that seems to grow longer and I’m afraid that if It continues to grow, the divide may one day be too difficult to cross.

Will we have lost our ease of familiarity? Will we still move in sync — one grabbing the drinks and the other grabbing towels — and lounge on the beach for hours, no books allowed? Talking and talking, perhaps while flipping through a scandalous magazine, but nothing truly needed, other than our disclosed thoughts, our guarded secrets, even our dreams, if we can still remember what they are.

I long to be that friend again, but I need patience. Know that when you call in the mid-afternoon, I am curled up in my chair, writing or paying bills, and the quiet seems necessary for my survival. I want to talk, and so, help me, I will.

Let’s meet more often after school on the wide green stretched before the water. Let’s watch the soccer practices and use the hour for conversation rather than phone work. Don’t be in a hurry if we meet at the grocery store or on the corner; let’s get an orangeade and be still together. I want to know about you. I know the way your life looks and the children that call you “Mom,” but this isn’t about them. I want to know you. I want to be that friend again, the one who had nothing but time for your valiant heart.

Someday doesn’t seem soon enough. Does life ever slow down? Mine has not. No, it seems to get busier and busier, and I feel as though I’ve been caught on a whirling Merry-Go-Round. I desperately want off, but can’t find my way. I know you must feel nearly the same.

Reach out your hand; show me a friendly grin; send me a casual wave. Don’t think I’m not interested. I count my friends more precious than gold and I want to be part of your riches, too.

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