I miss friendships with people who make me laugh until I cry. I have great friends, don’t get me wrong, but it’s been SO LONG since I’ve laughed so hard and so unabashedly. It’s been so long since conversations were about something other than the trials and tribulations of motherhood, the consistency of poop, the anxiety of kids in school, or how to best steer my kids out of a future of psychotherapy bills…. or even conversations about how to get the bills paid and what is on sale this week at the commissary.
Do conversations–the ones that can be both deep and light in the space of one breath just not happen once you’re a Mom? Is the constant inning and outing of children what stands in the way of cutting loose all the way and laughing hysterically about absolutely nothing until you snort like a pig and then laughing some more?
Is it the fact that I don’t drink? So many ‘social interactions’ of the ‘kicking back’ variety seem to have to involve alcohol and I just don’t do alcohol and don’t want to do alcohol, so does that mean that at age 30 I can no longer have a friendship so carefree that I laugh until I almost pee my pants?
Is it the cares and responsibilities of being an adult? Is it just the pervasive heaviness of bills and worries about kids and being the one with whom the buck stops? Is that why my parents never seemed to get together with friends… or if they did it only seemed to be over long weekends?
Is it just part of the life of a Navy wife? We have made such GOOD friends and met such a variety of people. No doubt we have been blessed. We’ve found people who support us, people to commiserate with, people to swap child care with, people to do holidays with…. We’ve found those things in different ways and at different times, but the lightness and laughing element is still so hard to find. Is it the moving? The coming and going? The stresses of husbands coming and going? The ‘guard your heart, she’ll be leaving soon’ cynicism that develops not far into your first duty station?
Maybe it’s the lack of time. Those times of great giggling always before have happened during conversations which happened late into the night. During all-nighters during college. At sleepovers in high school. Maybe it’s just plain and simply the time constraints that must be put on social interactions these days.
Is it my own social ineptitude? I don’t built bridges well anymore and the events of the last few years haven’t made it any easier. I’m even more awkward than I used to be. Sometimes I use my baby as a shield knowing that conversations about the silly things she is doing or the tiredness of constant soothing when she’s fussy will at least give me SOMETHING to talk about.
Or is it the lack of lightness that I’m currently trying to overcome?? Is this more evidence that I just plain need to lighten up?!
I don’t know the answer… but I know that I’m craving the feeling of talking late into the night and slipping into a friendship deep enough to be silly and solid enough to support laughing so hard that you cry or snort or pee your pants. It’s lonesome without that kind of friendship. And those friends seem so few and far between.
Maybe that kind of friend is just around the corner. Maybe it’s a friendship that is developing now. Maybe it’s a quality that will come soon in a long-standing friendship just ripe for blooming in that direction. Maybe I’m a few play dates away from that let-your-hair down, settled in like an over-sized sweatshirt kind of friendship. Maybe the latest crop of PCS moves has brought me another person like that. Maybe it’s just around the corner.
Until then I’ll be grateful. I’ll be grateful for the friends I DO have and the depth that IS there. I’ll be grateful for the friends literally around the world with whom I’ve walked through deep and wide and hard and fun things with. I’ll be grateful for those friend with whom I have guffawed and bellowed and snorted and giggled in the past (I know we could get back there if we had enough time…). I’ll be thankful for those friends who are there when I need to cry on a shoulder or get an opinion about a parenting move. For I am blessed, so blessed with many friends.
I just miss laughing til I cry and sputter in ridiculousness. And I hope I get to again soon.