The Husband and I moved to Crazy Town six years ago. I knew no one. A dear family friend told me, "Now that you have your new baby, Tall," (he was about 9 months old at the time) "You will meet soooooooo many people." I thought, huh, what a wack-o that family friend is.
Turns out she was right. If I do not know you, chances are that Tall will introduce us. We will meet at a birthday party at a bowling alley or at Starbucks with Tall in tow, or at the library, or at the park or at the grocery store or at (disclaimer: you knew this was coming) Target. I WILL MEET YOU ANYWHERE because I have the ultimate "please meet me" accessory: a child.
But it is not even like I meet you because we have similar interests or backgrounds or anything......... no. It is because we are all in the trenches and we are bonded together because we have been up all night (more nights than we care to remember) with an infant who is projectile vomiting, we have changed poopy diapers of the small newborn while attempting to potty-train the toddler, we have heard eardrum-piercing screaming and endured tantrums (from The Husband, not the child), we have been to the ER so often that we are on a first-name basis with the admissions staff, we have glanced at each other with a knowing look as we frantically scoop up back-to-school supplies on September 2nd, we have listened to Elmo singing incessantly and back-to-back episodes of Backyardigans, we have sat through soccer matches in 95 degree heat (seriously? that needs to be illegal); we're all in this together.
What I am saying is: I can be your friend because I know that your life is exactly like mine. People who do not have children (The Husband and I have a code name for these people: rich) have no idea what our everyday lives are like. They do not know the madness that is "The Morning Routine"; they are blissfully unaware that merely "getting out the door" (which should take all of five minutes) has become a 45-minute endeavor since having children. You and I are bonded together by the indisputable fact that we are responsible for a little person's health and happiness (not to mention education and vacations). It is mind-boggling when you think about it (which I usually don't have time to).
When I lived in California, I knew no one. I lived in the same apartment for over three years, and yet, I literally knew no one. The Husband and I referred to the guy upstairs as, well, The Guy Upstairs (do you mean the blond guy or the brown-haired Guy Upstairs?). The girl in the front apartment was The Waitress At-Least-I-Think-She's-A-Waitress. Why should I bother meeting people or getting to know them, when I was content in my little bubble..................
Then I had kids, and everything changed.
All of a sudden, I'm talking to people in the check-out line at the grocery store ("Do you really like those organic Cheerios? will he eat them?"). People I never would've uttered a single word to before are suddenly on my radar. Tall has a much more active social life than I do. It's true. It is not something I'm particularly proud of, it just "is". Most week-ends seem to be gobbled up with soccer games or birthday parties or playdates (who coined that term? what did we call it when we were growing up? I know we did not call it a playdate).
And because of Tall, and now more and more because of Short too, I seem to know everyone everywhere I go. It has gotten so bad that I must put on mascara before zipping out to the drug store because I will know someone there. It's strange. I'm no longer MOV, I'm "Tall's Mom".
("Me Officially Vanished")