I lost my closest friend this weekend. Lost might not be a great word for it, she didn’t suffer or pass away, she moved. I said goodbye to her for the last time in my driveway, our kids giving each other hugs. I kept the tears in until I was inside, and then I turned to my husband and just bawled. They were deep sobs, coming from a hormonal emotional place. I felt like I was five again. I don’t have many close friends, especially mom friends, and for two years we had watched our kids grow together. We shared first steps, first words, first tantrums. This, this is what it feels like to be a tribe, I thought, to feel like I had a little village to rely on. For a period of my life a year ago, she meant everything to me. My husband was working long hours, and I was still figuring out the whole staying at home mom thing. We would spend days at each other’s houses, where I never felt judged for letting my kid eat sugar or my house being a mess. So often, with the other older moms I felt lost, like I’ll be yelled at for doing something wrong. So many of them seemed completely sure of themselves while I was floundering.
It’s a funny thing about having kids so young, everyone I can relate to, all my friends from before, don’t have kids. I’m a little island in a sea of young women focused on careers and themselves. And to be honest, sometimes I am jealous. I would love to spend hours writing everyday or walking my favorite city, both things I loved to do before kids, but I can’t. Most days I can barely get a shower in. I read their blogs, all the interesting traveling they are doing, and can’t help but feel left out. I didn’t think I would miss much when I had my son at 22. I was done with partying and clubs, but instead I’m missing a whole decade of finding myself.
They tell me that it gets easier. This loss, this worrying I’ll never see my friend again. But instead, I look at photos of our kids together, her daughter and my son and wonder how much older they will look when we see each other again. I wonder what our next babies (due within a month of each other) will be like. I wonder how much will have changed, or not at all.