Old Friends, New Friends

This is Chris’ first week back at work after spending the past three months home as a family.  It hasn’t been too bad, really.  I miss him during the day though.  Sometimes Bean will do something funny and I’ll look around to say something to Chris and he’s not there.  That part sucks.  But I’m sure we’ll all get used to the transition.

A few weeks ago I went to a play group for infants and mother’s at my church.  This would be the event where Bean got into a church brawl.  I had a really nice time and met a lot of super cute moms and babies.  And it was good for Bean to get out and be with other children since he is no longer in daycare.  Then, last week, I got an email from one of the moms asking if I wanted to get together for a play date.  I was so excited!  So, we made plans to meet yesterday at the church playground.

Yesterday morning I woke up in a cold sweat of anxiety.  I had never done a one-on-one play date before.  What would we do?  How would Bean act?  What would we talk about?  Oh, the pressure of dating!

And for the rest of the day as I got ready for our date, my mind went crazy with thoughts:

“Should I wear pants?  No, it’s too hot.  How about shorts?  No, too scary.  What about a skirt?  No, too dressy.  Capris.  I’ll wear capris.”

“DAMN!  I only have black capris and brown shoes!  Why didn’t I buy any black sandals?!?!  Stupid Chris on a budget!!!  Maybe I can wear white capris.  Yes, definitely the white.”

“Can I put Bean in a funny t-shirt?  How about his, “Most Eligible Bachelor” one?  No, too forward for a first date.  Maybe he should wear a collared shirt?  No, I don’t want him to be a nerd.  Casual.  We’ll go casual.  “Boys Will Be Boys” t-shirt it is!”

As I loaded Bean into his car seat and drove over to the church, I started wondering who I was getting ready to meet.  See, at the moms and babies breakfast, I met several different moms and babies and I wasn’t quite sure which one had emailed me.  I had it narrowed down to three moms that it could have been, but I wasn’t positive which one it was going to be.  I hoped that it was this really nice, laid back mom that I had met in the parking lot of the church, but I really didn’t know.

Thankfully, when I turned the corner into the playground, I was so happy to find it was the one from the parking lot!

We played on the swings for a while, holding our babies in our laps and catching up on how we’d been since we last saw each other.  She shared about a few mother’s groups that she has joined and how that has helped structure her days as a stay-at-home mom, and she invited me to join one of them.  After we were all sufficiently hot and sweaty, we loaded the babies into strollers and walked around downtown for a while.  All in all, it was a pretty great play date and a nice reason to get out of the house.

Play dates are strange things, though.  There is definitely a reason they call it a date.  You are really testing people out, seeing if you can hang out together civilly while our kids play.  This was the first sort of friendship I had made that revolved around my child and while it was so great to spend time with someone in my same situation as a parent, it did make me miss my friends who knew me before I was just Bean’s mom.  My friends who have known me since they were pulling me off of table tops in college (only once…).  My friends who have known me since I wore cut off jean shorts and thought my face was the appropriate shape for bangs.  My friends who were there the day I got married and the day I had my baby.

New friends are a blessing because they give me something to look forward to in this new place.  But old friends are the backbone who have pushed me to be the person who I am in this new place.  I guess the Girl Scouts were right.  You need both kinds of friends in your life.

My college roommates, Neal and Jay.
My real life BFF, Emily. She's been there for pretty much everything important.
My friend, Lisa, whose husband went to grad school with Chris. She and I pouted together over the long hours our husbands were spending in school.
If I had a brother, it would be Neal. (This was my 21 birthday and there might have been bar dancing involved and Neal might have been the one who had to pull me down...)
One of the sweetest souls I know. I was at the hospital when Sarah's daughter, Emma, was born four years ago. And she was there when Bean was born.

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19 Thoughts to “Old Friends, New Friends”

  1. I heard someone say once that if you can count the number of really good friends you have on one hand, you are lucky to have so many really good friends. I’d say you’re doing great. Glad to hear that you and Bean had a good time with your play dates! (Also, I’ve commented on your blogs several times before but never formally said hello, which is terribly rude of me and I’m sorry. My name is Tiffany and I love reading Marriage Confessions! Hi Katie, Chris, and Bean!)

  2. Reading this post makes me think of that girl scout song “Make new friends but keep the old…” Moving away from friends stinks but it is the true friends that no matter how far away you are they will always be there for you.

  3. Ugh, I hate dating – now you’re saying I’ll have to do it with my children too?

    Well, that kinda blows.

    Just sayin’.

    p.s.~ Emma is rocking that dino costume. SO jealous.

    1. Katie

      Silly – That’s BEAN in the dino costume! Emma was a b-e-a-utiful butterfly!

  4. Heather in ND

    Yay for old friends and new friends!

  5. Nothing will ever replace those old friends. I feel the same way. They have been with you through all the changes and that is so special. I am totally myself with my old friends and hold nothing back. I am still searching for a new friend with a baby in my area that just clicks with me in that way. I have met many new friends and joined play groups. They are my savior during the week, getting us out of the house. I also love to blab on and on about the babies with them. But, yes nothing will replace those friends you just instantly click with.. still looking for a new friend that feels like an old one 😉

  6. Jen

    Awe! I’m getting married next Saturday and you could not have put out a better post today. My new friends have helped me with wedding details and such, but my old friends have been with me through all the dating disasters and were my cheerleaders when I met my future husband.

  7. “one is silver and the other’s gold!” Girl Scouts. Another blog for another time.

  8. When we first moved here, Reagan was four and Hayden was two and the SCARIEST thing I did was walk into a Mothers Of Preschoolers meeting by myself. Serious, nervous breakdown time. But then I made friends and the kids made friends and I discovered that what’s even harder is finding new couple’s friends. Just because you and the wife and the kids get along does not mean that husbands can be worked into the mix!

    But having friends whose kids grow up with yours is one of the more fun aspects of being a mom.

    So go forth and make friends. 🙂

  9. That’s so true – it’s great to make new friends, and you should always do that. However, it is nice to have those old friends who know you so well that they can finish your sentences and know what you’re going to do before you even do it. People who know the REAL you, even the ugly parts and have seen you when you’ve been at your most dramatic 🙂

  10. Adra

    This is totally off topic from your post subject, but as going through the photos of this post I noticed your hair curly in one picture? Is it naturally curly? It looks fabulous that way! Not that your hair doesn’t look good straight, but if it is naturally curly you should definitely wear it that way!

    1. Kimberly

      I agree with Adra. I had the exact same thought.

  11. I think you and I could be friends if we lived in the same place. =) … Making girlfriends is hard! I don’t think I’ve ever had to MAKE girlfriends before, I’ve always just HAD them! Now out of college, married and in the real world, I don’t know how to make friends anymore! Thank God for the old girlfriends! And for the opportunity to make new ones! =)

  12. Finding friends is exactly like dating. So much pressure!!!

  13. Brina

    I think it’s incredibly scary to move to a place where you don’t know anyone. My husband and I moved to Orlando in July (one week after we got back from our honeymoon). And while we do have family nearby (Tampa), we don’t really have friends. At this point in our lives, it’s kind of hard to make friends. We’re not in college leaving our dorm room door open and we don’t have children to meet other parents. What we miss most about Gulf Breeze isn’t the place, but the friends and family. While I will always have my old friends that I love dearly, I do wish I had a girlfriend to go shopping with!

  14. Man, I hate making new friends…I am so not looking forward to this part of having babies. Joking, er, sort of, haha!

    I am a great friend, but the initial awkwardness can be so painful!

    http://www.jennford919.wordpress.com

  15. It’s all so true. Making friends here has been hard for me, even though we weren’t the only new people around. I need to try harder. 🙂
    I hope that your time was great, and that there will be more get-togethers. And I bet you could get a pretty cheap pair of cute black sandals at Marshall’s or Ross. 🙂

  16. Gin

    I definitely agree on the friends thing. I went off to grad school and left all my good friends from those 4 years behind. Even though I’ve made some new friends here, they just know now me, they have no idea about then me.

    P.S. Just had to add you look super cute in the picture from your 21st birthday!

  17. Jenna

    Oh gosh. This one hits home. I am finally getting to a point, after living in a new place for two years, that I have great friends here. For a while, my old friends sustained me and were all I had … and there is still nothing like them. I am SO grateful for the new and the old!

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