Friday, September 9, 2011
I have understood this advice more and more after having children. Sometimes the world you live in with small children is a miniature version of the one you were were living before Tide Sticks. You can't always finish a sentence when your little one is pulling up your shirt or sticking her hand down her own pants.
But yesterday, after dropping off both children at school, I spent an afternoon with my friend, a mom from preschool who I will name Kate. Kate and I went to order some bagel sandwiches and lattes. We walked straight into that mom stereotype and didn't look back.
Conversation was small talky at first; Joking about calories we were eating back on after sweating our ankle socks off at a Zumba class. We stood in line to return our sausage sandwiches that neither of us ordered. It started off pretty surface and low key.
Then we sat down and fed our bellies. We were both hungry enough to chew drywall. The simple act of sipping hot liquid made both of us drop our shoulders and breathe out audibly. It was time to relax.
I think because all our basic needs were met that we were able to scratch through the small talk and get down to brass tacks. Kate is an extraordinary woman. She has a quick mind and often leads with it behind funny one liners. Kate and I share the same recovering shy girl syndrome which is probably why we always gravitate toward one another. We enjoy small groups verses like maybe two other people.
Plus, we both ordered a sandwich on an Everything bagel so we are obviously carbohydrate sisters.
Before I knew what was happening, my mind ticked forward with a sound I haven't heard in a while: intelligence. Five years speaking Kid is a sure fire way of making yourself nostalgic for a complicated thought or the freedom of closing those eyeballs on the back of your head for an hour or two.
Kate and I shared thoughts about our boys. Thoughts about parenting boys and entering this new phase of learning about our child over assuming we already know it all. Four turning five means we are not always welcome into their private thoughts, and that is appropriate. Children at this age begin to choose not to share all of their experiences; step one in the permanent divide between the self and their comfortable nest in which they hunkered down. Their personalities have already begun to add on complimentary colors to their initial primary four. They have a lot on their plates and we, as their parents, have to honor that and let them move forward on their own (or at least in private when they need it.)
I can't tell you how rejuvenated I felt after my lunch date with Kate. She will probably never know she was the one to throw a rope to help me climb out of the depths of brain atrophy. Interacting with her made me remember that sometimes you just need a couple of hours out with your girlfriend who makes you think.
Female bonding doesn't happen easily with me but when it does? It is warm Everything bagels and a pumpkin latte to my bones.