Staying Sane: Reuniting with friends

“Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.”   Albert Camus 

You can laugh with your friends in good times, and you can support each other in not-so-good times.   Sometimes you lose touch over the years and then they re-enter your life again without skipping a beat.   Reuniting with old friends is wonderful.  Knowing that your friends are there for you in tough times is priceless.   For working mothers, friendships with others helps to balance your life and you may be drawn into new friendships simply because you have so much in common with these working women.  It’s good to know that the person “gets it”.   It’s also good to reach out to friends when you need help.

Through the last year I’ve had different kinds of interactions with friends; this last year has been brutal for me.  I’ve gained new friends, reconnected with many old friends, and yes lost some friends along the way.   Now that I have more time on my hands I’ve wanted to open myself to my friends but so much is so difficult.  I’m reaching out but having discussions is tiring for me; reliving experiences sometimes too exhausing to explain.  So I have this time available to me, but I’ve also been retreating a bit.   Healing.   It’s kind of a dance with me.  I connect, then retreat.  Connect, then retreat.  But I know my friends are still there.

I reached out to some old college friends tonight after I dropped off the kids at co-parent’s, and caught up with their lives.  Everyone has their own issues.  I was reminded tonight that it is best to be happy with where you are at the moment; just take it in for all that its worth.   Thank you Lisa!   And this coming week, I have a lunch date with a friend who has honestly been my lifesaver this past year and more.

However I also retreated from some friends this weekend.   A birthday party for a friend’s son – the kids went with co-parent and I just couldn’t muster the energy to go.  Sometimes it’s hard for me to see couples who are starting families – it makes me think of myself at those stages – so hopeful.   Sorry Romina for missing this – I know it meant a lot to you.  Honestly the kids HAD A BLAST and I heard all about the pony and petting zoo.  The Dora pinata is proudly displayed in the “girls room”.

I also canceled on old friends from my NYC days – for good reason, I believe.   I was to meet them with all of the kids at her house but start early since I would have to leave early.  But my heart wasn’t in it.  The kids woke up with me this morning and they were having so much fun with each other and the chickens and just playing and being.   I was doing lots of laundry and the kids were keeping busy on their own.  And then it was 10 AM.  The time when I say that it’s appropriate to go to the next door neighbor’s house to see if they want to play.  The family next door was on vacation the past two weeks and the kids had not seen them during that time.  When the neighborhood kids came over, that is when the magic started.   Laughter.  Running.  Hugging.  Talking about “Cocoa”.  Playing ball.   Tickling.   And I just stayed back and watched it and laughed.   So, my heart just wasn’t into taking the kids away from their new friends and getting on yet another highway.  Big Bro is the worst now with the highways and he doesn’t want to go anywhere anymore.  I just wanted to stay at home with them and hear them laugh.  And see them run.   And see their happiness for each other since the neighbors are just as excited to see us as new neighbors now.

So I canceled on my friend.  So that the children could have fun and cultivate their own new friendships.  And it didn’t matter a bit to my friend.  I talked to her.  She completely grounded me.  “Of course don’t feel bad – you are doing exactly what you should be doing right now….”

So we stayed.  And the kids laughed.  And played.  And scared the guinea pig.  And ran.  And ate.  And fell down.  And kicked balls.  And hugged.  And giggled.   And made MORE lemonaide and tried to sell it to the neighborhood together (they each made $1.25 for their efforts today).

Two of my closest friends, friends who know EVERYTHING that has been going on in my life over the years, I made at work.   So there is the biggest benefit I suppose for being a working mother.   Being around other women who can relate to you like some people cannot.  They know the challenges, the struggles, the tensions.   And through this you can form the strongest of friendships.

So this is a big “thank you” to my friends.  Some closeby, some far away.   But still there.  And those that continuously reach out to me to check in and see how things are going.   And offer to help where they can.  And to listen if I have the energy to talk about things.  This means a lot to me.   

Hopefully you will agree that a big part of staying sane and staying grounded is keeping those friendships alive; supporting one another; and giving those big hugs to your friends whom you have not seen in a long time.

Have a great week everybody

– Mama K  


July 6: Lemondaide for sale! $0.25!!

Friday, and the last of the 2 days that Big Bro and Red were “allowed” to stay home with me, along with Twin Crazy and Twin Husky.  It was a great day.  No, it was an AMAZING day.

Highlights with the Kids:

  • I woke up at 7 AM to Twin Husky, pitter pattering in my room.  He climbed into my bed.   Then came Twin Crazy.  Then came Red.
  • It was cold when we all got up so I put on the fireplace as I made breakfast.  Twin Husky helped me stir the pancake mix;   Everyone was hanging out, lounging, including Cocoa our guinea pig.  It was wonderful to have everybody there.  No rushing.  No running.  Just being.
  • After breakfast I wanted to lounge around too.  I read books to some of the kids while others were playing with Cocoa.
  • I got the kids to get dressed quickly.  I wanted to explore my new neighborhood again.  But first Big Bro wanted to start some popsicles so they would be ready when we came home.  All I had was pomegranate juice.   Overall he does not like going on trips and would rather stay home.  He’s fine once we get there though.  I think he’s sick of the car.  I don’t blame him.
  • I found an amazing museum about 2 miles away from the house.  It is a wild-life preserve and rehabilitation site for sick and injured wild animals.  I told the kids how important this place was and how some animals are pets and if they get sick or hurt their owners take them to the vet… but where do wild animals go if someone finds them hurt????    I bought a yearly family membership as soon as I got in there.  Some of the animals are always there and cannot be released (e.g., birds with one wing).   But there is an entire section of the building for rehabilitation of many animals that is not open to the public.  The kids saw alot of birds, touched a snake, looked through magnifying glasses of feathers and snake skins, amused themselves with puzzles, and we even saw a demonstration of workers feeding 3 little baby birds.   I loved it there.  I want the kids to understand the importance of places like this and the responsiblity we have as people to care for animals in need where we are able.  
  • Once we got home we ate like crazy.   After lunch Twin Crazy and Twin Husky ran around outside naked while Big Bro played with them with the hose.   Then it was nap-time.
  • During the twin naps, Big Bro, Red and I made lemonaide.   We had a childrens book about making lemonaide that I must of read to them 1000 times; they were busy making it and it really tasted good!!     I went out back to weed with the weed-wacker, thinking they would come outside or play quiety inside… but they had other ideas.  They wanted to set up a lemonaide stand and asked me to write the sign.  They set up in the front of the house and were working so hard.   There were construction workers down a few houses and Big Bro kept yelling “Lemonaide for sale”.   He even wanted to go door-to-door.   There were four separate customers but other drive-bys with smiles on people’s faces.   They were so cute.  They were working so hard.  I taught them about “price” and how 4 quarters make up 1 dollar and before you knew it, it was time to get ready to leave.   I promised them I would buy more lemons on Saturday and that I would help them make more lemonaide on Sunday and have a proper stand – I think there will be more traffic then.

After the kids:

  • Drop off was fine.
  • I went to Costco to stock up for the kids.   At the cashier I learned that my in-laws stopped my Costco membership — don’t they realize that they are only spiting their own grandchildren by doing that?   I was still able to buy my stuff though so that was good.
  • I got back; unpacked my loot; and did some more weed-wacking.
  • I’m now showered and feeling full from raspberries, Life cereral, and a nectarine. 

I’m feeling great and happy here.  I’m listening to crickets as I type this.  I love this house.  I love seeing the children in this house.  I love waking up to pancakes and a fireplace with them.  And a guinea-pig.   I love seeing them sell lemonaide to the neighbors, and how the neighbors keep introducing themselves to us.  I love this day I had with them.  I only wish I could have more.  I wish the children could have more of these days too.  At home with mom during the week, with all of the kids together.

Have a great weekend –

– Mama K

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