Why Moms Should be Friends with the Moms of their Children’s Friends

It’s all about staying sane and laughing.

This week, I organized two small events. The first was dinner out with a few friends – each of whom has a fourth grader like me. The second was a few hours at JumpStreet (an indoor trampoline park) for some kids in my son’s class.

I like the moms who showed up to both a lot. I would have chosen them as good friends without my sons having chosen their sons and daughters as friends. So it worked out well for me.

At the dinner, we talked about everything from healthcare policy to traveling with kids, pop culture to dieting in our forties. We shared airplane horror stories that included people being mean, pushing your seat back, bringing peanut butter sandwiches and breastmilk through security, and the airline industry’s apparent refusal to make an effort to seat families together. We talked about Tom and Katie’s divorce, People Magazine as a necessary tool if you have girls, and how the reason for dieting and exercising is shifting for us (we may be resigned to the fact that supermodel bodies are out of the question, but not getting out of breath when we carry the laundry upstairs is still attainable).

At the trampoline park, with our kids stopping by periodically to request money for video games (No!), vending machines (No!) and band-aids (Oh, sweetie, what happened?!), we snuck in funny stories about our children and summer adventures.

By the time I returned home, I felt sane again. I had had a total of five hours of adult conversation. I had laughed at myself and the foibles and follies of my friends. I had told stories about the concerning behavior of my sons, thinking they were suffering from some unique form of “torture your mother” and pre-adolescent angst only to learn that all their friends were behaving the same way.

My children are not impossibly unique or behaving strangely. When they upset me, somewhere down the block or around the corner a friend of mine is getting similarly upset over her child. When I can’t sleep because I am worried about them, at least one of my friends is tossing and turning too. When they make me laugh because they are the cutest guys on the planet, a friend is grinning from ear to ear watching her goofball do something equally laugh-out-loud amusing. My boys are good. They are wonderful. They will very likely survive the teen years without jail time. They love me even when they roll their eyes, stomp their feet, cross their arms, or decide to be mad at the world for an hour.

…and I am not alone. I have my friends.

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