I watch other moms around me develop relationships between them. Seemingly, it comes easily, naturally. I don’t know how much of this is true and how much is my perception of their relationships. It seems they’re almost always speaking of someone picking up another’s child, play dates, gatherings of the moms, birthday parties, this or that. They stand in circles, bonding. Friends-By-Design.
Outside of high school, college, the work place, I am now thrust into a world in which the only thing I have initially in common with another in my only meeting place (school) is parenting. The first day of school, after whimpering your child to their class and reluctantly letting go, offers parents the chance to start measuring, sizing, small talk on the walk back to the car. The bonding begins. The reverse at pick up. Fast forward to 2nd grade and relationships are born. Most times guided by the hopeful blossom of friendships by parents, until the kids take the reigns pointing the adult friendships in the direction of the peers they’ve been drawn to. Either way, built-in friendships have a chance to grow.
In my new world though, my oldest has significant special needs, leaving me to have even less in common with most. Now at 2nd grade, I have few friends from my son’s school. Few parents I would find my time distracted by; even fewer parents and families that reach out, willing to accept, understand. My pool of Friends-By-Design shrinking, my oldest neurotypical child just beginning school which offers up another chance to find friends amongst commonality…in a few years…
For now, my pool is nearly empty. There are times I look around at the Designer Friends and wish that I had more, that I could bond with them as they had with each other, that our kids too could play with the ease of kids’ play. Then I swish my feet in my pool, look across and find those few friends that do “get it“, and I realize that my pool fits me just fine. It’s warm, it’s always cleaned and ready, and its design fits in my new world.
What’s your Friends-By-Design pool like?