Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I Get By With a Little Help...

Well, you know the song.

Tonight was our second monthly Mom's Night Out and an even bigger success than the first. A group of us mothers, about six to eight of us, from our local Attachment Parenting Group formed a weekly playgroup a few months ago, to give our little ones more time together and ourselves a chance to visit. That idea took off and it didn't take long (only two months or so- we're a bright group) to decide another off-shoot might be a mother's night out. Our first dinner came together hastily and with great enthusiasm shortly before the holidays and here we are, not even halfway through January, with a second one behind us.

And it is such a good time. We meet at a casual restaurant (they must serve adult beverages- this is a MUST- even if those of us partaking are limited to one or two glasses) and chat, catch up, and talk about everything but our children.

Wait- no- that's some other group. We talk almost exclusively about our children. Our husbands. Our families. And the childcare books we're reading, teachers we're listening to, parenting questions we field, criticisms we handle- we run the gamut of everything child-related and I absolutely love it.

There is, I've discovered, a surprising depth to the relationships I have with these women. I didn't know a one of them before Dory. I couldn't tell you where most of them were born, how they grew up, favorite color or even their ages. Yet our children threw us into this ocean of mothering together and we have gravitated to one another. When we do get together, like tonight, the immediate familiarity is surprising and very, very comforting. We're beyond the early stages, beyond the "how does she sleep?" "when did he start solids?" type of questions. The fast intimacy of motherhood leads us to meaningful and genuine conversation that energizes and strengthens me. We are, I feel so strongly, in this together.

I have had the good fortunate of really good friendships in my life, with Matthew, my parents, people I grew up with, people I've met in other places, people with similar passions and interests. And I'm just so glad parenthood proved no different; I'm so glad I know these other women all with children born within a few months of Dory (a cosmic coincidence? I think not) who are genuine and open and relatable. I feel grounded after a playgroup or a dinner. Of any of these women, I might never learn a favorite movie, first job, or political party, but, in our own way, there are few people I will ever be closer to than this group, this tribe of amazing mothers and women I'm so glad to call friends.

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