We met when we had tiny babies and no clue. We parked our enormous strollers side by side. We carried our creatures and diaper bags into that room on the third floor with the rainbow alphabet carpet. We kicked off our shoes and settled in, bleary-eyed, hopeful, scared, confused, at the beginning of so much. Through all the crying and the craziness, the music and the nervous dancing, the sleeplessness and the struggle and the concomitant and incomparable sweetness, we acknowledged each other.
We found each other.
We found each other and we talked. At first, our conversations came in broken pieces. Words slipped into the small spaces between wailing and wondering. We talked about sleep schedules and feeding times. We talked about milestones - words and teeth and pacifiers and crawling and walking. Our sentences were laced with camaraderie and competition and care. We complimented each other and supported each other and reassured each other. We understood each other.
As our babies have grown and as new babies have come, we've grown even closer. It's taken some time, but we have learned how to talk about things other than our children. We have learned how to see past the pretty smiles and ask questions. Are you okay? Can I help you? Am I okay? Can you help me? We have learned how to be honest with each other. I love my kid, but I miss myself. I'm not sure who I am these days. I want to be something more than a mother and wife. We have learned how to embrace complexity, how to explore it collectively, how to fashion solutions, how to admit when there really are none. We have learned.
And most importantly? We have learned how to stop and sit together and laugh. Just us. We have learned how to be with each other without our kids and our men, how to get to know each other as women, as people.
Last night. Last night was one I will not forget. It was a night of white balloons and chocolate cake and friendship. It was a night of honesty and happiness and real celebration. Celebration of life, of love, of time, of change, of us.
And the singing and flaming lotus flower? Legendary.
Happy birthday, J. And cheers to chance meetings and all of us Friday Night Wives. Oh, and to a certain Friday Night Husband who tolerates us all.
Did you meet some new friends when you had your first child? Have you stayed close? Are you able to talk about things other than your children? Do you think that it is easy to forget how important friendship is in adulthood?