Super Friend and her family came over last night. The kids ran and jumped and explored and chased. We had a cookout and made s’mores. Then the kids got into jammies and watched 3 Veggie Tales movies while the grown ups sat outside around a fire. It was so nice.
I got to thinking this morning how important friends are, and how lucky I have been to have had many true friends during the various stages in my life. True friends who remain so to this day, in spite of many miles between us and different life circumstances.
I have Cousin, who was my original BFF. I have a few friends from high school with whom I’m still in touch. I have one dear friend from college, a few from graduate school, and one from internship. And of course I have stayed close with some special women from my years in North Carolina. I even have a few good online friends.
All of these friends have been so important and have brought richness to my life. They still do.
But since having my kids I have learned about the absolute necessity of having a Mom Friend. Not just friends who are moms, but at least one friend who is at a similar stage in the journey that is motherhood, and who is nearby so that we can get together regularly to share it.
Seriously. Every mom needs this.
I cherish all of my friends. But at this point in my life, I really couldn’t do without a Mom Friend. I think maybe for some people this role would be filled by a sister or other nearby family member. I don’t have those. So of course for me, the Mom Friend is Super Friend.
I do have several other good Mom Friends in town now, though I don’t get together with them as often or know them quite as well as Super Friend.
I mean, she’s Super Friend.
There is a certain comfort that comes with similarity and familiarity in a good friend.
Super Friend and I have some similarity. We both have multiple young children close in age (between us we have seven under six). We have similar values and strategies for parenting. We enjoy some of the same things, like reading a good book, visiting over coffee and/or ice cream (usually and), and watching our kids play together.
A while ago I read this article about how making Mom Friends is like dating. Basically it goes like this: First base, talking while your kids are in activities together. Second base, getting together with kids at a park (or other neutral ground) for a play date. Third base, having a play date at one of your houses. Fourth base, hanging out without the kids.
When I read the article I laughed and sent it to Super Friend. We are so beyond Fourth base.
Yes, there is something beyond Fourth base for Mom Friends. I guess it’s kind of like sisterhood, because Super Friend and I have a great familiarity too. It’s a kind of knowing that comes from being in a similar place in life and spending quality time together.
When we have play dates at each other’s houses we seamlessly work together to care for seven small children, getting lunches, soothing babies, wiping faces, cleaning spills… All while barely even needing to speak. It doesn’t matter at whose house we are or whose kid needs something. We know, so we do. (I’ve written some about this before here).
If I’ve had a crappy morning trying to get my kids out the door to get Miss to camp on time, I can glance at Super Friend during drop off, and she just gives me this look. She knows from looking at me exactly how my morning has been. And I know she knows. And that makes it just a little bit better.
We can sympathize and then laugh together about the insanity that is sometimes mothering small children (like running through a furniture store with diarrhea dripping from your two year old onto the floor and all over your clothes, while your husband runs behind cleaning up the floor and ends up using all but two of the wipes… um, one for the kid, one for the mom??). We can give advice without sounding judge-y. We help each other whenever we are able.
I wish this kind of friendship for every mom.
When I was a new mom, I had some good friends (still have them), but no one living near enough to me to be The Mom Friend. So I know how it is to be a new mom without a friend like this.
Super Friend has been a huge blessing in my life.
And even more than having the great fortune of having my own treasured friend, I am thrilled that my girls have made some truly special friends in her kids.
Because like all moms I want my girls to have good friendships with good kids.
Whether or not our kids remain close (and I hope they do!), I am comforted by knowing that my girls will begin learning about good friendships with Super Friend’s Super Kids.