I didn’t make friends easily as a child. Elementary school, where friends should be the easiest to make, was difficult for me. I was never tall enough, skinny enough, pretty enough or in possession of the necessary cool things. I wouldn’t say that I was bullied, I just wasn’t… Popular. Now, that’s not to say that I didn’t have friends, just not a lot of them. I know, I know. It’s not the quantity, but the quality. Try telling that to an overweight, brown-nosed teacher’s pet!
Fast forward to my high school years and I wasn’t bullied, cool clothes didn’t matter because I had a uniform and I had friends! Quality friends! Friends that I still keep in contact with to this day (whaddup A-Bear!!). High school was supposed to be difficult for friend-making, I’d heard. Psh posh! Who says being a drama nerd got you nowhere? I was angry townsfolk #3 in our big school performance! *insert shaking fist here*
Now, let’s skip a few scenes to parenthood. I should say rewind a few scenes. I’m back in grade school. Making mommy friends is harder than making regular friends. Not only are you doing the friendship mating dance for yourself, but you need to scope out the kids, too! The list of criteria has grown with each kid and I’m always worried that not only am I going to be found lacking, but my kids are as well.
Example: Peanut’s 3rd Birthday Party. We invited over 20 kids. 7 showed up and of those, 2 were siblings of his friends and one was GreenBean. I was mortified! It couldn’t be my Peanut’s fault. He’s not perfect, but he’s still the sweetest boy you’ll ever meet. Then I did my grade school self-evaluation; was I too fat? Too ugly? Was our car all wrong? My clothes? WHAT WAS WRONG WITH ME?! No parent ever wants their child to be either the bully or the bullied. Nobody ever mentioned the kid who was left out. It was like a knife in my heart. Peanut, though, he had no idea that anything was amiss. He was so happy to be playing with his friends.
Peanut and GreenBean had a joint 2/4 birthday this past year. I nervously delivered the invites and waited for the RSVPs to come in. Though The Dad nearly lost the rest of his hair with the final tally, nearly everyone showed up. A relief! They love me, they really love… Him. They really love him.
So what am I saying here? I guess that the feeling of never being good enough often stays with you, but as long as you’re Number 1 in your kids eyes, who cares what anyone else thinks?
Oh, and I think that I’m doing ok with the quantity and excelling in the quality of my mommy friends. Take that, grade school Mom!! 😉