A while back I wrote about a "first date" that T and I went on with another couple. No, I'm not talking about a Burning Man type of first date with another couple, I'm talking about a "hey, I like the way you guys roll, let's get into a bottle of wine and maybe have a dance off later" type of first couple date. Who knew that years later I'd still find myself standing idly by chatting with L, while our then-boyfriends, now-husbands hit the floor for yet another impromptu dance-off after what would appear to be a mature, adult dinner? With this particular couple, it was love at first pop-n-lock and they remain two of my most favorite people on the planet to this day.
Three and a half years later I find myself "dating" again. This time, I'm Play Dating.As in, "hey, your kid is the same age as my kid, why not get them together and hope we like each other at least a little." It sounds simple, but anyone who knows women knows that we mate for life. Our friends mean the world to us. We talk on the phone. When we hang up the phone, we text each other. After we text each other we post on each other's Facebook walls. Then before our husband, boyfriend or roomate can roll his eyes and say, "haven't you had enough?" we tell him about the hilarious thing that our best friend just told / texted / facebooked us. And not to let the cat out of the bag, but those same husbands, boyfriends or roomates would be none-to-pleased to learn that we share, in excruciating detail, pretty much everything with those girlfriends in our inner circle.
My personal core group of girlfriends, aka: my besties, consists of two single ladies who I categorize by danger levels similar to the terrorist threat color system, one not-so-single lady for whom I look forward to one day playing Maid of Honor for, and one really not-so-single lady who just popped out her second child in two years. All of these girls know me for who I am including the good, the bad, the ugly and the beautiful. None of these girls live within 45 minutes of me.
What I learned shortly after 27 hours of labor, 3.5 hours of pushing and three months of colic is that moms need other moms and we need them close by. Moms need other moms who can drop what they're doing and drag their yoga-pants-wearing asses across the street for a quick sanity check, coffee break, or to answer the question, "how the hell did you get your baby to stop chewing the side of his crib?" Bring on the play dates!
P, like most one-year-olds isn't particularly choosey about who he plays with. If you touch his toy, he will hit you. If you touch your toy that he's playing with, he will hit you. If you do none of the above, he probably won't hit you. That leaves the rest up to me. Luckily I had met a great group of ladies in the prenatal yoga class I attended religiously leading up to P's birth. Our babies are all around the same age, our sciatic nerves are back in tact and almost too-easily, our parenting style is on the same wavelength. After giving up a three to four hour daily commute, I was finally able to actually hang out with them. How fortunate was I to learn that we also share other things in common, like the belief that it's acceptable to have a beer with lunch, a little Baby Einstein never killed anyone, and organic chicken nuggets are a godsend.
I thought to myself, "who knew it'd be this easy to meet awesome people with kids the same age so close to home?" They must be all over right? So I hit the baby-circuit hard, branched out and quickly learned that I was WRONG. Not all other mom's out there think like me. I've met tiger moms, helicopter moms and know-it-all moms who prefer to preach rather than a give and take of advice. Had I just simply been so lucky as to find a group of like-minded, fun-as-hell mommas on the first shot, before P was even born? Um, holy crap, I had.
I'm not sure whom I'm more grateful to. P for giving me the opportunity to meet such cool people right here in my neighborhood or these ladies for their hoards of GOOD advice, hilarious stories and willingness to turn circle time into happy hour at the drop of a hat. Either way, I consider myself incredibly lucky and am thrilled to be reaping just another benefit of giving up corporate america for paci's, poopies and the responsibility of teaching my son that while it's OK for right now, he's going to eventually have to learn to let go of his penis. Good thing I have a small army of new friends to help me out with that one.