Author’s note: To prove my point in yesterday’s post about my usual melancholy turning over-the-top melodramatic, I offer you the following exhibition, a post I wrote several weeks ago on one of my funk-ier of funk-y days…
As I was on the final stretch headed home from my walk the other morning, I saw on up ahead of me a group of moms, maybe 5 or 6 of them, each pushing a stroller. I’m embarrassed to tell you this, but despite my fatigue I hurried up so our paths wouldn’t cross.
Once home I cried.
When I saw the group of them chatting and strolling together, I was suddenly overcome with a sense of loneliness and I was sad. Oh, I have friends, lots of them, real and virtual, yet, still, often, I feel lonely. I think it’s partly due to my personality—my hermit tendencies, my moody melancholy—that I sometimes feel alone, aloof and apart.
I think it’s also due to the stage of life I am in. When you spend nearly every day all day getting in and out of the suburban, dashing to and from school and church and sports, well, it is difficult to find and be a good friend.
When I was a young mom, much like the young moms out for a walk this morning, I had a close group of best girlfriends, all of us staying at home and all of us with kids the same age. It was wonderful. We chatted on the phone nearly every day, we kept each others’ kids, we traded maternity clothes and hand me downs, we met for lunch at McD’s. At no other point in my life, excepting perhaps my college years, did I have a group of friends so integrated in my day to day life.
I miss it.
I miss having a friend in my same stage of life, one fully integrated therein, one who can commiserate with the crazy schedule and the raising of teenagers, one who would understand when I say that I don’t think I will survive either of those things, the crazy schedule but especially the raising of teenagers.
I remember being a young mom and having among my acquaintances some moms of teenagers, moms who would try to tell me what I now know to be true: that raising teenagers is far more difficult (not to mention heartbreaking) than any other stage. Knee deep in diapers and juice cups, I couldn’t imagine it. Besides, my babies were so sweet and so innocent and loved me so completely…
So I cried that morning because I felt lonely and also because I felt old. Because I missed my group of best girlfriends, but also because I missed the days of my boys’ babyhood. Because I longed for the times of pushing a stroller and swinging in the porch swing and chatting with my friends about getting our kids to nap or eat vegetables.
Though I don’t really want to go back, not really, still I cried for what was and maybe to some degree for what is.
See? I told you! Melodramatic, indeed!