I just got back from my best friend’s 30th birthday brunch. It was such a delicious affair, and my mind has been bubbling all the way home. Maybe it was the coffee. Maybe the sun got to my head. But I really think it was the combination of people attending. What a great bunch!
It’s the second time in two days that I have socialised with a large group of people, none of whom have children, and the majority of whom I either haven’t met before or don’t know very well. Before Baby entered the world, I wondered why parents hung out with other parents. I really didn’t get it. Now times have changed and as I float through a new season of my life, the people around me have gradually and subtly shifted, little bit by little bit, until by and by I am left with many new friends who have little ones, as well as my forever solid best friends who were there before Baby and will remain forever after, despite not having children.
So. On the way to my outings this weekend I introduced a new mantra: When around childless people, do not talk of nappies. Do not talk of poo. Refrain from forcing the person next to you to watch videos of your child sitting on the couch staring aimlessly at a dancing Santa. Leave your iPhone in your bag. Your friend’s friend does not want to look at 573 photos of your child, who they have never met, all taken yesterday. Discuss matters of social and cultural importance like…
It was then my mind went blank. (And yes, it was a very long mantra).
I realised how much my current life is influencing my topics of conversation. When friends I don’t see very often ask, “What’s new?” I can’t think of much to say. That doesn’t include nappies. And poo. And photos of my child, all taken yesterday. What has become of me!?
But this morning at breakfast, all my worries were put at ease. I found plenty to talk about and had a wonderful time doing just so. My friend E is a delight and you could tell by the crowd that appeared out of the mist to celebrate her birthday. We spoke of coffee and friendships, jobs and futures, boys and men. We discussed the world in which we live, materialism, families, life. It was nice to be there independently, amongst people who mostly didn’t know that I was a mum and a wife or much else about me at all, really, except that I was friends with our dear EP, as were they.
After all these wonderful revelations and happy conversations, I listened to Tracy Chapman blaring all the way home, and felt so… happy. Happy to be on the right path, happy to meet friends of friends, happy to be sharing new Christmas traditions with Baby and just general good happy vibes all around. Nice.
We’re off to the big family Christmas thing now and I’ve just spent a moment chatting to Baby:
“Guess what? We’re going to go to a party this afternoon. Do you know why?” She looked at me, nodding her head earnestly at each word. “Well, because it’s Christmas, and at Christmas we go to lots of parties and have lots of fun. There’s going to be lots of people there and kids for you to play with too.”
She glanced at the Christmas tree behind me and nodded again, solemn, thoughtful.
“Poo-poo,” she replied, clutching at the top of her nappy.
So to my darling E: Happy Birthday! And to my new friend C: Here’s mine… but where, oh where is yours?