I have been remiss in my blogging because I’m recovering from this past weekend’s Florida getaway. I left early Friday, and returned late Sunday. I wanted to get every second of Florida sun, and am paying the price. I also wanted to see an old buddy, Phyllis, who moved to Jacksonville ten or eleven years ago. We were new moms together back in our Long Island days. She, though, had her first a few years before my first, and when we met at a Mommy and Me class, we hit it off. My support system (meaning my mother) lived in Brooklyn, and calls to her about baby burping, and crying jags, and napping, worked well for awhile, but there was nothing like a real live mom who’d been through it all, and who was patient with my many questions. Plus, she’d been in the neighborhood longer than I and knew where the good parks were, and how to throw a kids birthday party. I learned about the joys of cutting up hotdogs for lunch, with a side dish of mac-n-cheese; that carrying a potty in the back of the van could make or break a day trip. My daughter and her daughter became fast friends, and the friendship continued until a job transfer brought Phyllis and her husband and two kids to Florida.
By that time, we’d passed the real tricky days of parenting, and our kids were in elementary school. Their lives got busier with new school friends and activities, so the move wasn’t as bad on the little people as it was on the big people. But our friendship continued via emails, and on our family trips to Orlando, and when they visited New York. Last year I took a solo trip down to Florida for a real catch-up weekend, and it was great. And this past weekend, we had another chat-fest. Our kids are much, much – MUCH — older, in college or heading there, and while the challenges of raising kids (in this case, teens and young adults) is still very much a part of our conversation, we can also go on and on about our jobs, our marriage, our aging parents, and about how the years are passing for us, too.
The bond between moms is a strong one because only another mom understands the sleepless nights, the worries about a sick kid, that first day we leave them at pre-school, or watch them swim without you by their side, and when the school bus comes for the last one. And now those same kids are graduating high school, getting jobs, drivers licenses. We both remember when those same kids were just learning about life, and now here we are, just two moms who started out together, who can now look at our kids with pride and amazement; but we know it wasn’t just the kids we had in common, but a real and true friendship we know will last for life.