This past Saturday night, I partook in a Ladies Night. Carousing Davis Square, we started the night off at Sacco’s/Flatbreads for some pizza and alcohol-fueled shenanigans and ended up at Diesel Cafe for coffee and several rounds of pool.
Sounds like a normal night for a group of thirty-something friends; however, the machinations to put this in motion were anything but normal: babysitters or spouses needed to be free and since one partygoer is pregnant, we needed a place where seats could be easily obtained and there were options on the menu other than a stiff drink.
I think this is what it means when that wise sage Ferris Bueller once uttered, “Life moves pretty fast…”
These are friends I have known since my nascent days in Boston. We were all young, broke, and could hang out until the wee hours of the morning and still get up and go to work the next day. We cheered each other’s grad school acceptances/graduations/new jobs. I have been to their weddings. They have been to mine. We bought houses. We leaned on each other when a partner became ill. But adding children into the mix does change things.
That’s not to say that I don’t love my friends’ kids. I love them as if they were my own. But, being childless, you are at the mercy of others’ schedules. Plans can change suddenly if a babysitter or a partner falls sick. Phone calls are cut short when the child has, unbeknownst to the parent, decided to rearrange the kitchen pantry. Sometimes I keep my patience. Sometimes I silently lament to myself, wondering what happened to my dear friend who has an MBA but prefers the title “mommy.” Can’t you be both? Can’t you have a kid and still be known far and wide in your career? Women have fought for years to have choices, to excel and have support in both the home and the office. As my next door neighbor once warned me, “You’re young, your friends will have children. Some will have one, some will have many, but the ones you will stay close with are the ones who understand that your friendships have to evolve and will consist of more than just the bottle.”
To be honest, I wasn’t sure if she was referring to the baby or wine bottle, but both scenarios work. True friendships evolve and change over time. Dynamics are what make life interesting. But if I have to spend my Saturday at a Chuck E. Cheese, I am drawing the line. That place is just hell…for everyone.