Old Friends

It’s dark. And late. And a Thursday night. And I’m standing in the parking lot of a California Pizza Kitchen laughing so hard there are tears rolling down my cheeks.

I’m standing there with two girlfriends — friends I’ve known since high school — and on this night, wiping the tears from all the laughter, just like every time I see them, I’m thinking Why don’t I do this more often?

But I sort of know why. It’s Work in the Morning. It’s Kids Have Practice. It’s Girl Scouts, and Baseball, and Water Polo, and Karate, and Full Time Jobs, and PTA, and School Shopping, and Soccer Practice, and Saxophone Concerts, and Gymnastics, and Football Games, and Cheer Competitions, and Tennis Matches, and All The Things that have kept us moms so busy for so many years.

Our kids are all about the same age. When they were all babies, or at least pre-schooling-age, we were still able to get together, my friends from high school. We’d  let the kids play with each other while we all talked, or took walks, or crafted together, or whatever we felt like doing.

But as our kids grew older, we all drifted apart. We drifted into our kids’ lives, really. We made new parent friends surrounding our kids’ schools and activities, in our new neighborhoods, in our new communities. We’d still try to get together about once a year. Then it became once every two years. Then it was three. And, as our kids entered high school, I think we rarely saw each other.

But we’re getting to a new phase now. It’s a phase I’ve been looking forward to. The older kids are heading off to college, the younger kids are starting to drive themselves around. It’s not quite as hard to come up with an evening when all the moms are free. I mean, we all have careers now (or again), but we’re not in that crazy 20s-age work-until-midnight-every-night mode we used to all do. We’re getting to the age I’d always looked forward to: when we could meet when we wanted, have a few drinks, have a leisurely dinner, talk about our lives, pick up where we left off … and make each other laugh so hard we’re crying in the parking lot.

I’m looking forward to this. …

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6 thoughts on “Old Friends

  1. We sure go through many stages in our lives, don’t we? Since the children are quite grownup it has been fun to spontaneously meet up with people for a meal or take off for weekends without needing to make arrangements for everyone’s care. I’m a step away from entering the retirement stage and look forward to picking up all the hobbies and interests I haven’t had time for while working one full-time job and still conducting my at-home contract work. My list is abundant and I’m eager to get into it! I hope your gatherings with your high school friends become more frequent!!!

  2. I know exactly what you mean! Thank god for fb because it has reconnected me with all my old friends that I loved to be around. This past summer 17 women that I went to school with, all got together over in Eastern Washington at Lake Chelan to have the FIRST Girls Annual Getaway! We had soooo much fun and it was amazing to see so many people that you hadn’t in a long time. We are planning a four day weekend this year and I can’t wait. Hopefully there will be even more of us and we can do this until we are old (older) and gray! I do try to get together with a few girlfriends throughout the year as well, for lunch or just a hang out. It’s really nice to see the people that knew you before the family, kids, work, etc. I wish you lived closer Laurie!!

  3. Oh, Lynnette, you’re definitely heading toward a cool new phase! “Retirement Phase” will be especially fun for getting together with old friends! (And all the hobbies you mentioned. And traveling, if my parents are any example!) 🙂 So happy for you! And glad to hear the “kids grownup” phase carries into more fun with friends. I’m looking forward to it. 🙂

  4. Debi, that summer getaway sounds amazing!!! Wow, 17 friends all together, relaxing by the lake??? IDEAL! So glad you’re going to get to do it again this year. And yeah, I wish we lived closer, too, but I’m sure we’ll get to have a get-together and gab-fest one of these years soon!

  5. Ok. So this is my 1st ever post on a blog. … I love the girl scout song:
    Make new friends, but keep the old
    One is silver and the others gold
    thank you for being pure gold!!!!
    And I wouldn’t cash you in for all the money in the world 🙂

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