As in me, not my mom. She’s fascinating. No, me, a mom. Why are moms boring? I know, I know, our non-mommy friends try to prop up our paper thin egos and offer encouragement like see–you’re still fun to go out with! You own more than yoga pants! Love that we’re out for drinks! Meanwhile they’re thinking will you ever shut up about your kid’s spasms? I can’t believe you complain about your husband all the time. Do we really have to leave by 9:30? At least they are still friends with us–despite our permanent state of stream of consciousness.
But our fellow moms know the truth: we are plain leftover oatmeal boring. That fun girl in her 20’s, who stayed up late, invested in so many relationships and talked and listened and contributed to all her organizations, those ones? All of yous, my beloved mama readers? The ones who pursued tough academic paths, crabby & crappy jobs to get through school, the ones who ate late night nachos with the girls & Amy’s pizzas, survived on little sleep with no eye makeup the next day, looking fine, you know how it was.
Now all emotional energies go toward negotiating with the world’s cutest terrors, the year’s biggest tantrumers, the neediest independent girls, the kitchen that uses my dishes all night to through a potluck for the dining room, the husband that you want to actually talk to but are too tired to. This all hit me the other night when I had an evening with my dear one-of-two-non-family-BFF girlfriend: I have nothing to offer. Truly. I had nothing to say. I couldn’t empathize, sympathize, make conversation about current music, concerts, movies, fashion, anything. I also couldn’t deeply connect like I used to. My emotional bank for caring for more than my herd is empty.
She helped me make a sorry flop of a meal for dinner (my fault, not hers), cram food in SweetPea’s ever hungry gullet, sang her a lullaby while I tried to brush her teeth, and picked up SuperBoy’s poker chips from everywhere on the kitchen floor. We walked to get ice cream, laughed, and looked like two carefree teens (with extra wrinkles?). I can’t even remember what we were dying laughing over, but it was something totally unexpected and trivial. And we finished with a starlight convo in the hammock in my front yard, sorry to say goodnight and glad for the time to be who we were and have been since we became friends at 14 years old at choir camp.
The reason our friendship works? I didn’t have to carry the conversation as the consummate hostess. I didn’t have to have brilliant insights into anything. I did try to temper my deep-seeded need to discuss every single challenging behavior my otherwise adorable children exhibit. I did really want to hear about her new job, coworkers, adjusting to living back in Minnesota. It was okay to be where we are, different places in our lives, without me going all mommy-blogger on her or her going all cool-chique-career woman on me. One life path didn’t x-out the other. Just talking with her, consuming enormous ice cream calories, equally sharing about our lives filled up my otherwise depleted love-for-others bank. So I’m still boring and have little to offer, but she loves me anyway. Thank you, Saray-ray!