Making friends has been something of a challenge since I became a mother. It's not that I lack acquaintances; I know plenty of people of the playgroup persuasion. The problem is that I haven't been able to get past the kids we have in common to find out if, maybe, we have other mutual interests as well.
Some of my closest friends are mothers. These friendships, however, were not formed under the influence of children. I've known some of these women since early childhood, others since middle school, and some since college. A few surfed in more recently through bulletin boards and blogs. I got to know them all before they spawned those little pieces of themselves that rendered them incapable of fully focusing on anything else. Now I love their children, too.
But the women I meet for the first time through my children are harder to get to know. They're moms first; what they are beyond that is beyond me. I could probably coax the information out of them if I was more socially inclined. But I guess I'm not interested in working that hard. That's as good an explanation as any. There's got to be some reason why I've been hauling my children off to group activities and playdates with the same women for two years now without one serious friendship to show for it.
Today The Boss came home from school with the latest report on a begrudging friend whom I'll call A. This child is not afraid to proclaim her need to "get used" to someone before committing to friendship. A. stands in stark contrast to The Boss, who throws her love around like the kind of sparkling confetti that gets into everything and keeps showing up even when you think you've vacuumed up the last of it. A. didn't play with me today, The Boss would intone sadly. She's still not used to me. Though I'd noticed them together more and more on the playground, it was still anyone's guess whether A. felt she had become properly accustomed to my daughter. Until today.
The Boss brought the message home from school. She bounced with the delivery of it, her cheeks little splotches of red beneath round eyes.
"Mommy, mommy! A. says she'll be used to me as long as I don't pick my nose!"
I laughed. I patted The Boss on the head. Then I nodded thoughtfully.
Friends take some getting used to.