Becoming a parent brings you into entirely new social circles of other parents. You can talk shop – poop consistencies and diaper absorbencies – without fear of alienating your company or simply boring them. Somehow these mundane and grotesque details are fun to share.
And yet it is slowly one step further from the generation of friends you once did keg runs with. Or is it? Between LinkedIn, Facebook, and the bevy of other social networks it is pretty simple to know what your friends from yesteryear are up to, where they’re working, and who they’ve procreated with. I challenge you today to look up one of your old friends.
Why bother? The past is behind you. It might hold memories of bad decisions: excesses and regresses. Chances are that there was at least one person who was consistently friendly and fun – someone you just parted ways with because some circumstance in your lives drew you in different directions.
Today I met up with a friend I worked with during my university years. We slaved away together at a hopping little cafe. We partied together, dreamed of world travels, and discussed all our hook-ups and heartbreaks. It was she that taught me that I do not have a knack for setting up blind dates. It was she that walked with me straight from a party in sequins and fake eyelashes to our morning work shift in our peppy little uniforms. So many shared moments.
And for years we have socialized little more than in an occasional catch-up email. She got married and then I got married. I had a daughter, she had a daughter, I had a son, and then she had another daughter. We’ve switched houses and jobs, and amidst all these transitions when we sat down and talked again it was seamless. The conversation was punctuated by moments of child-minding, but how sweet to see our two daughters playing like two old pals and holding hands.
It’s nice to have a reminder that the ties that bind don’t necessarily have to loosen over the years.