I don’t care about mud, and puddle jumping, sand from the sandbox tracked onto my hardwood floors, ruined clothes, squabbles over toys, crumbs on the floor or frosting on my leather couch. I don’t care if your kid is having a bad day and is acting like it. I don’t care if your kid refuses to eat what I’m serving for lunch. I don’t care that your three-year-old won’t leave my house without kicking and screaming.
I just don’t care.
I do care about not having a life that’s my own. I care about finishing sentences without the interruption of screaming preschoolers, or worse, parents easily distracted by over-parenting. I want to talk to you, to finish a thought, or hell, a story. I want you to be able to finish a thought. I want to get to know you, not your kids. I’m sorry but I don’t. I want the kids to get to know one another, to like each other, but I want to like you. I don’t want to hear about the clothes you just got on sale at Baby Gap, or about the swim lesson your son’s in or how much he loves to read. I want to know what TV shows you watch, what music you listen to in the car when you’re alone, and where you grew up. I want to know what you were like in high school or that really funny story of college drunkenness. That story you used to tell at parties before you had kids, before.
I want to know about before, because frankly I know what you do now.
And if you must talk about your kids, I want to have a real conversation about how you view motherhood. Not how much you love your kids or how blessed you feel to have them. I mean, sure, we’ll talk about that, but I want to know how you really feel about the loss (or discovery) of identity that comes with motherhood.
Let’s talk about the metamorphosis.
Let’s be honest and pretend like we didn’t just meet each other. I want to see your house dirty. Don’t worry about those dishes still in the sink from breakfast. I want to see the room where you sleep. Let’s face it, as adults we’re rarely close enough with a friend to show them the master bedroom, bed unmade, dirty laundry on the floor, plethora of water glasses on the nightstand. And I want to hear you swear, sure you can say it under your breath so the kids don’t hear, but at some point I’m going to need to hear you say fuck.
If you never say fuck we can’t be friends.
If you never complain we can’t be friends. I’m not a negative person and I want to take joy in your joy, but I’m honest about my existence. I like honesty about the human condition. Honest conversations are my religion. So go on, ignore the kids for a second and ask me anything.
Anything, I’ll tell you.
Because I’m really getting sick of the polite ‘Mom-friendship.’ You know the one I mean. We meet at the park for a playdate. We talk about our kids while drinking Starbucks. Our conversation is constantly interrupted by some child needing to be rescued off the tall slide, or needing to be pushed on a swing. It’s irrelevant anyhow because we’re never really talking about anything of importance. I mean really, are we? We talk about the kids, always the kids. I know all about your kids, your pregnancy, your birth, the reason behind their names, but I couldn’t tell you where you went to college or what your middle name is, and I’ve known you for over a year. We can make it through several playdates before I even find out how you met your spouse, or what you did before you had kids.
Maybe this is just part of getting older. Close friendships are harder and harder to find because they take years to cultivate. I just don’t have that kind of time anymore. As it turns out children are pretty damn time consuming. And just because we have children the same age doesn’t mean we’re going to have anything else in common. This is what’s so damn hard about making mom friends. So many of us keep it polite. We keep it nice and clean and censored to avoid judgment, because we’re human. Humans judge each other, and as it turns out mothers are the worst offenders.
I promise not to judge you.
So please, let’s just cut the shit and expedite this process. Where were you when you had your first period? Lost your virginity? Where did you grow up and what did your parents do for a living? What kind of music did you listen to in high school? Why did you fall in love with your spouse?
Maybe I’ll make a friendship questionnaire. If I like your answers you’ll be awarded half of a gold plated “Best Friends” necklace. I’m going to need the side that reads “Be Fri.” You can have “St Ends.” That’s just how I roll.