You’ve Got a Friend

Friends.

They weave themselves through our lives, permanently attached to our memories like a bad crew cut on your prom date.

A good friend accepts your phone call 24/7, holds your hand when you’re in labor, shares her lunch money when you forget yours, lends you her cashmere sweater without flinching, chooses you for their kickball team, reads to you in your hospital bed, defends your honor, shares Twinkies with you, keeps your secrets.

As children we forged friendships over common classrooms, common zip codes, or the simple fact that we carried the same lunchbox.

Adult friendships are just as important, but often harder to come by.

One really great friend is worth at least ten casual acquaintances.

Or fifty Facebook friends.

When you start having babies, making connections with other baby moms just seems easy. Conversations flow easily with topics like cloth vs. disposable, colors of baby poo, sleepless nights, best pacifier brands, or starting solid foods. Babies also give you an easy out if things aren’t going smoothly.

Oh, look, it’s past her nap-time. We need to head home! We’ll talk more about that conspiracy theory you have regarding Big Bird and Thomas the Tank Engine next time…

It’s been seventeen years since my first foray into a playgroup meeting with my spit-laden shirt and drooly baby boy. Some moms I clicked with immediately; with others we worked a bit longer to find common ground.

Two of my very closest friends to this day were moms I met in that playgroup so many years ago.

Time and distance have made it harder to connect like we used to at the park, but those friendships are deeply rooted. When we talk on the phone now, we just pick up where we left off.

Talk of diapers and pacifiers replaced by discussions about college applications and driver’s permits.

When your children enter elementary school, it still seems easy to meet adult friends. PTA meetings, soccer games, birthday parties, social committees, field trip duty, and play-dates with classmates all rotate various potential mommy friends into your life.

But adding children to the mix also presents problems that our childhood friendships didn’t have.

Things may start out easy; maybe a few coffee dates while the kids are in school or a ride to the PTA meeting together.

But unfortunately, sometimes the mere fact that you each have children can get in the way and muck up even the most promising of friendships.

Maybe your parenting philosophies aren’t in sync with hers. Or one of you has such strong convictions about vaccines, breast-feeding, potty-training, shaving, organic food, or television watching that you can’t see the possibility that the other person might disagree.

And still be considered a friend of yours.

As your children get older, the opportunities to meet other moms are harder to come by. Moms aren’t hanging out on the playground to pick their kids up from school anymore.

Well a few might, but in middle school? That earns your child the embarrassment badge pretty quickly.

Many moms start working out of the house more, whether they are adding hours to a job they already had or returning to work full-time. Coffee dates no longer work, and weekend time is usually reserved for family time.

Common zip codes and lunchboxes no longer help.

The pool of potential friends starts to drain into the gutter.

My friend bank needed some new deposits.

Enter: The Blog.

Blogging has opened a whole new area of my life where potential friends might be found.

A group of friends who don’t care if your house is a mess, you spill soda on the couch, your kids eat Cheetos, or you are adamantly opposed to shaving your legs. Your kids don’t have to like their kids, you don’t have to volunteer on their class party committee, and your husbands don’t have to agree on politics.

I’ve been lucky enough to meet some of them in real life.

And come August, three-thousand of us will descend on the lovely city of San Diego for the annual BlogHer conference.

I will have the chance to meet and hug so many of my new friends that I have “met” only through reading their words and sharing comments and tweets. We will recognize each other from avatars only; finally filling in a voice and an actual body to that tiny head we’ve seen so many times on our computer screens and iPhones.

We will laugh about silly inside jokes and come up with some new ones. Ooh and ahh over each other’s cute shoes and share our insecurities about making this journey.

Because while we may not share zip codes or the same lunchbox, we share a common bond.

And I will share my Twinkies, loan out my sweater, and keep their secrets.

Because having good friends as a grown-up?

Can be even better than it was back on the playground.

Comments

  1. “Because having good friends as a grown-up?
    Can be even better than it was back on the playground.”

    So Agreed. I’m a lil jealous. Have a great time and safe trip.

  2. Making friends as an adult has been one of the hardest things I never expected… Nobody tells you how difficult it is. When it works, it is so rewarding.

    Have fun at BlogHer!

  3. LOVE that you mention ‘cute shoes’ … of course, we”ll all be crazy shoe shopping before we see you and SQUEE and HUG IRL.

    No matter how much we love our spouses and kids …
    our girlfriends are ‘priceless’!

  4. You are very high on my must hug list, lady. And you know I am not a hugger by nature, so consider that a high honor.

    This post is exactly EXACTLY true. And I am going to share it…with a friend.

  5. Oh you. This post? Is perfection.

    And speaks my heart. Of course it does- because YOU speak my heart!

    Can’t wait to see you so, so very SOON!

    XO

  6. Can I meet you? Or will you be too busy hugging Katie or stocking up on twinkies? 😉

    I’d LOVE to meet you, girl. I’ll be there too!!! Eeekkkk!

  7. Love this! Love it.

    I’ve lamented so many times that making friends as an adult is so much harder than it was as a child. It really, truly is. But blogging and Twitter has opened up so much for me in the way of making new friends that I honestly don’t know what I’d do without it.

    Can’t wait to meet you.

  8. Oh, so true – both the wonders and the challenges you present in this post.

    I’ve been lucky to stay close to a few dear (and I mean dear) friends for decades; friends who don’t care which one of us called/texted/emailed last, who don’t keep score, who I know would drop everything (and I mean everything) to be by my side. And I them.

    I have also made a few dear (yes, dear again) friends through my children. But therein lies the challenge:

    When the kids begin to grow apart. Whether it’s age, gender, differing personalities…

    I’m in that awkward stage with a few friends (couples/families) where we all used to blend “so perfectly” and now? There’s a little crack here or there in the cement of our bond.

    I am jealous of those of you who will be at BlogHer (happy happy happy for you but also jealous) because YOU have selected each other from the thousands of options out there…

    Not because of where you live or whom your kids play with.

    But because in a world of bloggers you found a thread that pulled you together.

    Like a perfect cashmere sweater.

    So enjoy. Soak it up.

    And then enjoy and soak a little more for me.
    XOXO

  9. This is written beautifully.
    It’s true, as children we could easily approach each other and make friends, but as adults it’s a little harder.
    Blogging is wonderful for this.
    I envy that you are going to BlogHer!
    Enjoy.

  10. It is so true that our children can bring us together but also push us apart. I have not connected with many people out here. I have a few good friends I’ve met but most of the people I truly admire are those I met while working. Unfortunately, they all live far away…

    That’s why I’m grateful for blogging, where I’ve connected with people because of who they are – irregardless of how old their kids are (if they have any), if they work or not, etc.

    Cannot wait to meet you!

  11. I am only now learning what a great support the blogging world can be. Before I had my baby, I never even read blogs. Now that I’m home a lot, it’s my connection when I can’t always get out of the house. I’ve made some pretty awesome friends through it too!

  12. What a beautiful post. Can’t wait to see everyone…. at BlogHer12. 🙁

  13. Well said! I am so lucky to have the Touchstones (and others) for all of these years plus other good friends from more recent times in my life. As a non parent it is difficult to make close friends later in life too. I have found that the best is reuniting with friends from the past (like you) and becoming current and relevant to each other in our current lives. And your blog is a huge part of that for me:)

  14. Wonderful post Sherri!! Of course we will be ooohing and ahhhing over shoes at #BlogHer!!
    Can’t wait to see you again my friend!
    xo

  15. What an awesome and TIMELY post. I’m so happy and grateful to call you my friend.
    And SO GLAD I got to see you again.

  16. Lovely post Sherri, and so glad you have wonderful bloggy friends who you can soon say, they’re IRL friends too!

  17. You may not be able to see me, but my heading was nodding the whole time (ok, except for when I sipped my wine). I am one of those people who as an adult has a few very close friends, all of which live very far away. My close by friendships are not the drop everything kind, although I wish I had one or two of those. Add in the fact that in some ways, I am very much an introvert and not good at the whole trying to make new friends thing….and it gets interesting 🙂
    I look forward to being able to meet you at BlogHer—- xo

  18. What a beautiful post Sherri, wish I was going to get the chance to meet you in August. Someday right?

  19. What a wonderful post! I can’t wait to see you at BlogHer too. It’s going to be so much fun!

  20. It has been so so so so hard for me to make friends as an adult.

    Umm…cause I am difficult? Maybe…

    More that it’s hard for me to find people with whom I truly have something in common, and just both being moms wasn’t ever enough for me.

    But this….this has been…..wonderful.

    Plus…I get to wear my cute shoes!

  21. three thousand of you? Holy crap! That alone makes me shake in my chicken boots. Alas, enjoy – enjoy!!!

    i have friends from many different stages and i’m thankful for each and every one.

  22. Thank you for articulating this so well. My best friend, spouse aside, is someone I met through blogging, and my life is so much better for it.

    And oh, I wish I was going to BlogHer, just for the hugs and the voices and the laughter. The whole conference thing? Second fiddle to the idea of meeting some of you, face to face…

  23. This kind of sums up for my why I blog. I never would have imagined the connections and support I’d find here. As usual, you’ve captured it exactly.

    And the friendships? The best part. And completely real.

    Can’t wait to see you in person, eat Cheetos and drink beer, and admire our unshaven legs together at BlogHer.

  24. Once again, great to the heart stuff. The older I get, the harder it becomes to find true friends. I had coffee recently with a friend I hadn’t seen for 35 years. It was like we had talked over coffee just the other day. That is a true friend indeed and one to always cherish, even if life gets in the way of a another coffee klatch.

  25. I have made so many friends through blogging. I’m excited to meet many of them at BlogHer.

  26. Amen, and yes, woman, and understatement of 2011.
    I could not would not will not won’t give up blogging.

    Why?

    Because of the people behind the blogs.

    They’ve given me a new life.

    A to the MEN, sister.

    I love each and every visitor to my blog, and I love each and every blog I get to visit.

    A to the freakin’ MEN.

    (do ya think I kinda agree with ya?)

  27. I’m really looking forward to meeting you, Sherri! I can’t wait for BlogHer 11!

  28. Yep. To the yep squared.
    Thank God for my blog. Truly, it saved me.
    I managed to find a tribe I will forever be grateful to call friends.
    Amazing how not leaving your house opens up a whole new world, isn’t it?

  29. Have fun and eat some shrimp for me! (will there be shrimp there?)(I was just guessing a random food)

  30. This was beautiful and so so very true. I’ve made some amazing connections through blogging and twitter and I couldn’t be more thankful for that.

    Also? Totally jealous of you gals heading to BlogHer!

  31. I love the friends I’ve found through blogging/tweeting! It’s wonderful to meet other writers who I have so much in common with who I wouldl never have met any other way. Have a great time at BlogHer, what an exciting event!

  32. I don’t know what I would do w/o my blog friends!

    Just wish I’d be able to meet all of you at Blogher! I know you’ll have a blast!

  33. You hit it girl! I am so mad that I won’t be @ BlogHer – especially since it is in my own backyard so to speak. Have a great time! 🙂

  34. Can’t wait to meet you at BlogHer! It is great to have such fun friends!

  35. It is very easy for me to make friends.

  36. Oh how I wish I was going to BlogHer even if it was just to hug YOU!

    I agree..my life and friendships have changed so much since I’ve become a mom and will likely change again as the boys age, but the true friends I have are my friends for life and those in cyberspace (like you) I just adore …you change my life and my mind every day with your words.

  37. We’ve not even met yet and I consider you a friend for life.

    This was so beautiful, Sherri.

    I love the people that blogging has brought into my life. I am especially grateful for you.

    Only 3 more weeks!! xoxo

  38. BalancingMama says:

    Wonderful post! So, so true. I cannot wait to meet some blog friends at BBC Atlanta! So sad I can’t be in San Diego.

  39. Great post!

  40. Hey there friend! It’s been awhile, but I am still dropping by and slowly catching up on my reader. And this post? The reason I never miss stopping by your place… Even if it turns out to be weeks after you’ve posted! Loved this! And how I wish I was meeting up with you all in San Diego….
    Oh right… It’s a BlogHer conference… 😉