Mom Friends

Mom Friends

By Kelly DiCesare

There is nothing like a great friendship… my most cherished friendships are those with fellow moms. It is like a network unlike any other. Some form immediately; some take time, but once you find an authentic mom friendship that is comfortable, full of humor and honesty, your life just seems better.

My husband is a wonderful man, but he and I both know that it takes everything in his power not to ram his head into the wall when I am yammering on and on about the nuance of a school Halloween party. My parents are wonderful grandparents, but they think my children are angel babies who flutter high above, spreading delight and wonder wherever they go, as opposed to the devilish children – who chase each other around the house with forks – they actually are.

But my mom friends… they know the deal because they live it with me. We all know that between the hours of 4 p.m and 6 p.m. everyone in the house simultaneously loses their mind. We can all function on 43 minutes of sleep a night. We know that when there is a big event coming up, someone will get strep, and we know that the perfectly posed Norman Rockwell-esque Christmas picture is a lie.

I value my mom friends more than anyone because sometimes I find myself in a lull. My husband’s career has taken us to many states, and our recent move to Coopersburg was our 7th and my 5th as a mother. Maybe I can be so bold and speak for many transient moms in the Lehigh Valley. We spend the first four months of our new move in a never-ending whirl… unpacking, getting our families settled into the school district that we have exhaustively researched, unpacking, finding new pediatricians, trying not to get lost daily, did I mention unpacking, drumming up play dates without looking too desperate, trying to figure out an emergency contact other than our real estate agent. Our stomachs are in knots for months worrying about our family and especially our kids.

Then one morning, we wake up and everybody else seems pretty OK. We’ve done a good job. But now what? We sure could use a good cup of coffee with a friend. If only I had thought of that before now.

Email is great. Texting is awesome, but you can’t have conversation with expression or emotion. Sometimes you just want to have coffee with someone face-to-face. You want real. You want spontaneous. You can’t text it or tweet it. So, when you’ve moved and are settled and now realize you don’t have that… it stinks!!

But how do I find a friend? Well, that’s when I slip on my dancing shoes and dance “The New Friend Waltz.”

Here’s how it goes:

Curtsy to you; curtsy to me.
Hi, I’m Susie McBrainypants.
Step 1, 2, 3
Do you work?
What does your husband do?
Do you have kids?
Step 1, 2, 3
My kids are so smart. They are geniuses actually. They have scored OFF THE CHARTS on every test ever given… ever.   Our 7-year-old did our taxes last year. Every night at dinner, we have conversations from around the world.  We have Mongolian Monday, Turkish Tuesday, Welch Wednesday… you get it. It is so fun! My 10-year-old is translating War and Peace into Latin, and our 11-year-old just wrote a research paper titled, “Woods of the World.” He then picked his favorite wood so he could carve his own abacus!  We are so smart…smart, smart, smart.

Oh no – I think – now, my kids aren’t door knobs, but we don’t speak Welch. And Woods of the World? Ekk. My kids know it is either a Christmas tree or NOT a Christmas tree. I’m not 100% sure they even know what an abacus is. Oh my gosh, I stink as a mother.

Switch partners.

Curtsy to you; curtsy to me.
Hi. I’m Violet McSobusy.
Repeat first three dance sequences. (Because every meeting with a new mom starts the same way, doesn’t it?)
Step 1, 2, 3
Do your kids do any extra activities? BECAUSE we do… we are so busy! Mary takes tap, jazz AND ballet on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but then on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays she is the goalie for the local girl’s hockey team. But of course after practice, the team visits the local dog kennel and picks the fleas off the dogs… with tweezers. Now Jane is a cheerleader and practices on Wednesdays and Saturdays and alternate Sundays, but we have to fit that in because she also volunteers on Mondays and Tuesdays where she knits socks for refugees, plus she sells lemonade to benefit the blind on Sunday afternoons. But every other Friday, they throw me a curve ball in my schedule because they sell piergoies to benefit the deaf… isn’t that awesome? My son, Mike is on the swim team, so we have to leave the house every morning at 3:45 to get him to practice. But on Thursday, we sleep in until 4 a.m. because that is the day Mike goes to the local hospitals and changes the oil in the wheelchairs. Busy, busy, busy… we are just so busy.

Oh no – I think – wow, do I feel like an underachiever. We watch TV. Does that count? Oh wait, sometimes we multi-task by watching TV and eating dinner at the same time.  That’s good right?  Oh my gosh, I stink as a mother.

Switch partners.
Curtsy to you, curtsy to me.
Hi. I’m Nancy McNormal.
Repeat first 3 dance sequences (AGAIN)
Do you know if crayons are toxic because I think my kid ate a red one this morning?
W-H-A-T? My head swivels around; my interest is peeked. Oh, I think! This could potentially be my kind of mama.
“Nah,” I say “He’ll be fine. What is it with kids and holes in their bodies? A few days before we moved here, my daughter rammed a bead up her nose. I kept hearing this whistling but couldn’t figure out where it was coming from.”

And that dance continued… with the subject revolving around orifices and what kids stick in them. Not a glamorous conversation, but a common thread. Sometimes you just need that common thread of comfort to lead you to more.

I’ve danced the New Friend Waltz for five moves, but it’s not only relocating moms who dance The Waltz. It is every mom at different stages of their life. Moms are constantly changing, shifting and learning, but underneath all of that movement, a mom just wants a constant, comfortable friend. Sometimes you strike out on the waltz, but maybe you might strike gold. Gold in the form of friends who make life easier and much more enjoyable. Gold in the form of friends that you keep for years.

Happy Mother’s Day and keep dancing.

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