Monday, July 23, 2007

I Get By With A Little Help...

Last week, I went out with a group of new women friends after work, and a fine time was had by all. Such a fine time that most of the women said things like, “This was great! We have to do this again.” And “Oh my goodness, I had so much fun. We should do this regularly!”

I, on the other hand, was all, “Eh. It was fine. I suppose I’d do it again.”

At first I chalked this up to my raging anti-social tendencies, but when I thought about it a bit longer, I realized that it was actually my extreme good fortune of having a regular group of women friends to hang out with that made me so blasé about this new gathering.

You see, about once a month for the past five years (give or take), I have had a regularly scheduled Girls Night Out with three fabulous women – hereafter referred to as the GNO group.

During that time, each one of the GNO group has had babies, some of us more than one. We’ve all switched jobs (or careers), and two of us are raising children with food allergies and asthma. One of us has gotten married, and the rest of us were there to cheer her on. One of us announced that she was moving across the country, but somehow has never managed to leave us. Another one of us developed cancer. Two of us actively resist letting others support us, but the other two remain steadfast in their support.

All of us, though, have come to rely on our monthly time together as a way to get some sanity in the midst of child-rearing chaos and life’s ridiculousness.


Sometimes you get the friends you want, not the friends you deserve.

For example:

This weekend, two of the GNO group threw a joint birthday party for Zane and another group member’s child.

Why? Because they could tell that I was struggling under the weight of trying to get everything done with work and home and health stuff.

Since Zane gets a bit overwhelmed in larger gatherings, SRH and I celebrate his birthday with smaller play dates – usually about four of them. Which is wonderful and special and intimate and all, but let’s be clear it also means that there are four “birthday play dates” to plan, four cakes to make, four sets of schedules to maneuver, and about a week long of birthday-fueled adrenaline from Zane.

It’s exhausting and overwhelming – and now that I think about it, completely a middle-class angst thing. Whatever.

So, I was trying to pull together a dual birthday party for Zane and the other lovely child, and it just wasn’t coming together for me.

Then, I got an email from another member of the GNO group that said, “Hey, why don’t I just throw the party? I’d love to do it for you.”

I dramatically responded with, “Yes! Yes! A thousand times yes!”

And so, we showed up this weekend to a completely planned birthday party with games, arts and crafts, food, and favors. AND I DIDN’T HAVE TO PLAN ONE THING.

(Okay, I did have to make the cake, but when you have a child who is allergic to dairy, egg, peanuts, and tree nuts, that’s just a given.)

It was wonderful. Zane had a great time, and we got to celebrate his birthday without all the typical freaking out that birthday party having typically entails.

My friends take amazing care of me – when I let them.


So then I came home and started reading a very popular book, and my eye caught the following passage:

He wanted to tell them what that meant to him, but he simply could not find words important enough.


Thank you, my friends.


Sandy said...

As the other parent for whom the party was shared, I wanted to say to our amazing GNO friends that I cannot remember ever being so grateful for something in my life (you know, outside of being told this Cancer probably won't kill me). You are beautiful, thoughtful, women and I will never forget your thoughtfulness in the time and effort you took to make this such a great party. I also think BQ should start her own B-day business. I am still overwhelmed by how fun it was to be surrounding by laughing children and women who love me. I don't have a blog so I'm sending you my love and thanks via ZM's. I couldn't have asked for more.

Thea said...

While I don't know specifically of who you speak, I have a sneaking suspicion that one your circle frequently floats into my circle.

And I think I have met at least a couple of your circle, and they are indeed a fine group of ladies.

S said...

Those are indeed the people who help us get by.
Good to hear that you have support nearby.

Brenda said...

Awwe, I just love you guys. Friendship is about stepping in to make life less stressful so thanks are not at all necessary. I am very blessed to have you and ZZ's beautiful children in my life...although, for at least one of your children, I am just the sidekick to the real present giving, home owning, party throwing guy who must love marbles.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful post. My best friend was just in town for the week, and it reminded me how lucky I am to have great friends.

belsum said...

Awww. That's wonderful.

Zany Mama said...

BQ should totally start her own party business. It was delightful.

Indeed, you do know one of the circlers. I'd reiterate how great she is, but she's already a 5'9" blond with mile long legs, she doesn't need to feel any better about herself.

I am a very fortunate person. :)

zane wants me to pass along his appreciation to jon. He loves jon. jon is neat and cool and likes marbles. oh, jon.

it occurs to me that those of us who don't fit into the mommy circles of our neighborhood aren't really social pariahs after all, are we?

thanks, i think so too.