It’s hard to be friends with people who just don’t understand. For the most part, and this is massively over-generalised, kids are shuffled off to school, all at the same age regardless of their level of intelligence or social aptitude.
In high school, it’s the first experience at losing and finding new friends simply due to circumstance. There was no falling out, no mishaps nor ill feelings, just loss. Just one day friends and the next day, well… not. It’s all about the frequency with which they see one another at that age. Even the attempts to get together throughout high school are met with scheduling problems and disagreements about which movie to see.
The phenomenon repeats itself yet again as high school ends and everyone leaves to begin the thing we like to call ‘Life.’ Some will go off to university or another tertiary learning facility. Others will take a gap year and travel, or spend most of the time drunk. Others still will finally marry their high school sweetheart and have a few children.
Some will continue to stay friends, regardless of their differing choices in life. Others will find that friends are hard to come by, because they just don’t understand. The girl who studies at university, finds herself in a steady job, has a steady boyfriend who becomes her husband, and ends up with a son, beautiful though he may be, is totally lost. The friends from high school are too far gone now to rekindle any semblance of relationship, and the friends from university are still studying, finding their own feet, jobs and husbands. This woman, who spends every day in the same pair of shoes, performing the same happy activities like a monkey for a circus, Ground Hog Day over and over, is left alone.
The friends who were once excited about her being the first of the group to have a baby are long gone, having visited once, hugged and held the squirming infant and promptly handing him back. ‘Never mind,’ she thinks on a daily basis, ‘it will be better soon’. But her circumstances and friends having failed her, perhaps it won’t.
My friends will soon be having children themselves and enter the abyss of motherhood, but I’ll be there when they need me. All it takes is one comment, one smile, one small meeting a day to make all the difference. I concentrate on getting through small periods of time to stop the day dragging on forever, like waiting for Christmas as a small child. Sometimes it’s been 4 pm for three hours! Sometimes, the afternoon flies by and all of a sudden, my family surrounds me at the dinner table. They say the minutes are long but the years are fast. It’s bittersweet, parenthood, bittersweet.