Being an adult is hard. You have to pay the bills, go to work, clean your house. You have to make tough decisions like will I use my tax refund for my 401k or a trip to the beach? There is no one else to answer what's for dinner or are we there yet. Even harder than budgeting and 9-5ing, has to be making new friends.
When you are young, the kid with the best lunch becomes your friend, the girl with the prettiest sneakers, or the one sitting next to you on the bus. Friends seem to fall in your lap. Your mom introduces you to her friends' daughter. She surprises you when she turns out to be pretty cool. Nice even. Then as you get older and are faced with big decisions like pre-med or on-campus, friends come to you. A nice girl moves in across the hall and invites you on an errand. She becomes your confidant and a friend you hope will stick around until you are old and gray.
Then you are launched into the real world. Friends move away and you move on. Work interferes with lunch. It becomes all to easy to sit on the couch with your boyfriend than socialize with strangers. Babies get sick and plans get cancelled. Old friends get neglected and new ones are hard to meet.
I am so lucky to have friends that I've known for decades. My friends know the good, the bad and the ugly. They know that just because I'm silent or busy or distracted doesn't mean that I value them any less. But many of my friends live thousands of miles away, and sometimes a girl just wants to laugh out loud with a glass of wine and your girlfriend sitting next to you.
I have tried making local friends and feel like I am failing miserably. I'm new to Nashville, but not. I know people, but I don't. My interests have changed, my time is limited, and I feel like I've become this shy wall flower. Gratefully, Bennett has proved to be quite the ice breaker. Several weeks ago, I met a group of moms at the park. Our children were the same age, some were new to Nashville, and all but one had lived in D.C. What a strange, small world. On another afternoon, when waiting for the doctor, I met a little girl and her mom. The conversation was easy. She seemed both nice and normal. Her daughter was called in and we said our goodbyes. I could have cried when the nurse handed me a note with her phone number.
Our first playdate was a success. The kids got along as well as fifteen month olds do, sort of playing along-side one another. It allowed the moms a chance to have typical first date conversation about jobs and siblings and nap schedules. I was thrilled when she agreed we needed to do it again sometime. But I had to control my enthusiasm when she suggested we meet up for coffee, sans bebe. I think she might like me, really, really like me!
We may have to have a few dozen more playdates and coffee dates, but I'm looking forward to sitting on the couch with that glass of wine and belly laughs. I've had some wonderful people teach me how to get there and now I know not to take it for granted.