I hope Rachel Bertsche, Oy!Chicago’s resident friend-seeker, does not mind me stepping into her territory in this post. I have been following her quest to find a bestie, and thought that by sharing my own mission, we both might feel together in our BFF-lessness.
I have to preface this by saying that I have close friends, and I have suburban friends, but I do not have a suburban mommy BFF. And I really, really want one. I fantasize about calling her up after our kids go to sleep and asking if she wants to come over and watch So You Think You Can Dance. We could go for a run (or a walk, let’s be realistic) as soon as the kiddos are awake, an hour when most of the world is still sleeping. We could blab on and on about our pregnancies, our husbands (how amazing they are, of course), and how to deal with the terrible two’s, without worrying about boring the other. We’d go to the park together, sign up for the same mom-tot classes, and generally have the best time ever.
I have sought out this suburban mommy BFF all over the northwest suburbs. When Ben and I are at the park, or in a class, I strike up conversations with other moms. The conversation always (no really, always) goes something like this:
Me: How old is your son?
Potential SMBFF: 23 months.
Me: Oh, no kidding, mine is 23 months, too!
Potential SMBFF: Huh.
Me: What is his name?
Potential SMBFF: Jack (Note: the kids’ names are not always Jack, maybe just 2 out of 5 times).
Me: Hi, Jack! This is Ben.
At this point, Ben will either throw sand/a ball/his shoe in Jack’s face, drag me to the slide that is furthest from Jack, or hit/bite/kick me, all of which pretty much end my fledgling conversation. The other mom and I will wave goodbye when the first of us leaves, and I am left wondering whether I should’ve reignited our conversation, or if the onus was on her.
Maybe she didn’t agree with the way I disciplined my son when he chucked the shoe at her kid, and dismissed me as a potential friend. Or she disapproved of the way Ben chased after the geese by the lake, trying to kiss them, and thought I was a bad mom for laughing. Or she was bored by my generic pick-up line, and assumed I was uninteresting.
Each of the non-friendings has ended with me on the phone with my mom, asking if she’ll hang out with Ben and me, and many prayers that my city friends will make their way to the suburbs sooner rather than later.
In a few months, Ben will be starting two-year-old preschool. I signed him up partly to socialize him, but mostly to meet other moms. The program runs for nine months, and when the moms transition out of the classroom, we are still required to stay on the premises. Essentially, we’re stuck with each other. It’s like the preschool is handing me my suburban mommy BFF on a silver platter – how could I not find her under those circumstances?
In the meantime, my teacher husband is home for the summer, keeping me entertained, though he’s certainly not a substitute for a suburban mommy BFF. He watches five minutes of So You Think You Can Dance before dismissing himself to more manly pursuits, but at least he’s open to helping me hone my mommy pick-up lines.