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Month: May 2017

My People

My People

I have never been someone who has a huge group of close friends. I do have quite a few friends, but not many know me in great detail. I keep in touch with a couple people from high school, a few college friends, and a few law school friends. But it wasn’t until after Reid was born that I found My People. When Reid was 8 months old, we started taking Little Gym classes together. The class we signed up for – Thursday – was a good one. I immediately wanted to be friends with a few of the other moms that seemed to click with me. I struggled at first on how to take these relationships beyond a weekly baby gym class – do I ask for her number? Find her on Facebook? Does she feel the same way about me? This was like dating all over again, and I hated it. But somehow, a few of us started scheduling playdates together. I think that’s the first step in mom dating- the playdate, using your kids as an excuse to get together and sniff each other out. Slowly, a group of about 6 of us became friends and started talking in a group chat about things other than kids. We got together for dinner and drinks. I had found a small group of women that really understood me, accepted me, and loved me.

I feel incredibly lucky to have found these ladies. We have experienced a lot together over the past 3.5 years: the birth of a second child for each of us, the loss of family members, countless birthday parties and playdates, new homes, so much laughter, and a few tears. I was not scared to expand my family because I knew these women would save me from drowning. They continue to do that almost daily. These are the friends that will support you no matter what. Our parenting styles are not always the same, but we don’t judge each other. If I ever have a question about something, a fight with my husband, or just need to vent- I always go to them first. We show up for each other.

The most amazing thing to me in all of this is how different we all are. Some work, some don’t. (Yes, I understand that being a stay-at-home mom is work. I am one.) Some want more children, some aren’t sure, some are DONE. We have varied interests and backgrounds. But our kids brought us together, and I’m so thankful for that. It has become apparent to me recently how much I need these friends in my life. I know I’d be much worse off without them. We don’t see each other in person nearly as much as we’d like, but we always try. All of our schedules rarely overlap, but when we can all get together- it is the BEST.

We sometimes talk about the days when our kids will be in school and we’ll have more time for ourselves (will this day ever come?). Some are looking forward to that, some are dreading it. But one thing is certain- we will get through that hurdle (and many others) together.

Yin and Yang

Yin and Yang

I think one of the most unexpected parts about being a mother is that my kids are not tiny clones of me. I’m not talking about looks – although Sydney does look like me, and Reid is Kirk’s twin. I’m referring to personality. Syd is a bit too young to really know her personality, although so far she’s pretty chill and content most of the time. Reid and I are similar in some ways, like we both have laser focus when we see something we really want. For him, this generally applies to TV and snacks. He has determination for days. Super challenging for now, yes. But it will serve him well in the future.

However, both Reid and Sydney seem to have something I don’t: an endless desire to be around other people, all the time. I’ve mentioned before that I recharge by spending time alone, or 1:1 with someone. Kirk jokes that my ideal Friday night is a glass of wine, a book, and some terrible TV show – and he is 100% correct, although I would also add “someone else putting the kids to bed” and “the kids immediately fall asleep and do not ask for a bandaid, to be tucked in AGAIN, an ice pack, another song, to watch you go downstairs, to fix this lego piece, etc.” But Reid is an absolute extrovert, and I think Syd will be as well. Reid gets this from Kirk, obviously. When Kirk and I first started dating, we’d go to parties together where I wouldn’t really know anybody, and he would just float around the room striking up conversations with people like it was nothing. I could easily talk to people, but by the end of the night I was exhausted. We got to a point where I had to tell him he wasn’t allowed to leave me at a party like that – I wanted him to take me around, making some introductions first. It never occurred to him that I would be uncomfortable in that situation.

Cut to Reid: we ran into a friend at Target the other day, someone who Reid doesn’t really know or remember meeting. I introduced them, and Reid launched into a speech on his various forms of footwear and what they are used for. He will strike up conversations with people in such a bold way, asking tons of questions but usually forgetting to ask their name. I’m a little envious, actually. I am pretty talkative (I am a lawyer after all) but it can still be a struggle for me. Reid loves to be the center of attention, and if you don’t acknowledge him when he comes into a room, he’ll force you to by throwing himself on the floor, asking you to “watch him do something cool” (rarely is it actually cool), ask you a question that doesn’t make sense, or something of that nature. His teachers have consistently mentioned that Reid likes to “roll on his friends.” Not in a snitch way, in a literal rolling over his friends way. If it makes someone laugh, Reid will keep going.

One of the more difficult parts of this extroverted personality is the chatter. It is incessant. He basically goes around all day, relaying his stream of consciousness to me. Sometimes it’s pretty funny- yesterday on the way to school, he told me about his dream that he saw a garbage truck go into some lava, and look at that bird, and can he have a grilled cheese for lunch, and can we go on a walk after school, and why are we stopping here, and Mommy you forgot to turn on your clicker, and Mommy you are going too fast. He has LOTS of opinions about how I drive and which direction I take. But as someone who values my alone time, it is pretty exhausting. Largely because Reid doesn’t just want to talk- he wants to have a conversation. Don’t worry- he’ll tell you what to say. But you still have to participate. I feel bad, because sometimes when Kirk gets home, I need about 20 minutes of silence. Nobody talking to me, or at me, or asking questions. Nobody making screechy noises from her crib, just SILENCE. Kirk likes to come home and talk about our day, catch up, things like that. Normal husband and wife stuff. I feel as though I have a set number of words I can hear in one day, and a lot of the time Reid uses them all. Since he’s in school this year 5x/week, it’s gotten better. But summer is coming…

Off to research noise-cancelling headphones.

Dear Reid

Dear Reid

You are four! I remember talking about your 4th birthday in the hospital with your dad, because we knew that’s the day your birthday would fall on the Kentucky Derby. We had visions of a Derby-themed birthday party for you with cute little 4-year-old jockeys running around. We failed to realize that you, of course, would have your own 4-year-old ideas about your party. So no Derby birthday for you, but you are so excited to play at the Little Gym with all your friends!

You certainly do have lots of opinions about stuff. I know that these are qualities I will appreciate later in life, but they are big personality traits for a 4 year old. You like to tell us directions when we are driving, what you’d like at each meal, which books and songs you want at bedtime, and even who is going to get which slice of cake at your party. Spoiler: I made cupcakes to avoid this problem. You could be described as bossy, demanding, and strong willed; I prefer to describe you as a wonderful kid who knows what he wants, has determination, and doesn’t give up on the things he cares about.

I have so many wishes for you. I wish for you to be happy, to be kind, to love someone. I wish for you to find something in life that beings you joy. I have no doubt about that last one- you are a pretty happy kid.

I could go on, but I can already feel you rolling your eyes at me. You are so loved, my first baby, my sweet boy. Thank you for being the one who made me a mother. I love you. Happy birthday.

All my love,