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. …