I am a transplanted wife from the West Coast. We moved to the Northeast for my husband’s job, and have been here for four years. In that time we acquired a house, birthed a daughter, and met some great friends, neighbors, and coworkers. When you move 3000 miles away from family, creating a new village is not only a blessing, it’s a necessity.
I don’t make friends quickly. I can be prickly, crass, and blunt. As a grown up, making friends is difficult, especially when it’s happening at the park and not the bar. It definitely took time, but I now have some good friends. Most are fellow moms, but a few are coworkers of my husband. I spent about two years shocking the shit out of moms at the library until I found a group of women who don’t run away when I say inappropriate things. And let me tell you, these women who laugh at my jokes and like to drink are what is making our new home feel like our real home. My non-mom friends are important, too. They encourage me to discuss current events rather than snack foods and bedtimes. They are smart and cool and worldly. They (mostly) enjoy spending time with our kids, and are willing to babysit.
I still miss my old friends. There is such comfort in friendships with people who know you all the way through. I feel so lucky to live in a time where those relationships can continue to be fostered despite the distance.
Graham started kindergarten this fall, and I’m already worried about making new mom friends at his elementary school. Ugh. Another several months of censoring myself, feeling people out, and trying to get a sense of someone’s parenting style from their behavior at PTA meetings? I haven’t been to one yet. Do they serve wine?
Update: I still miss my old friends, and I am still having fun with my local friends. My newest friends are women I’ve met through my blog. Women who talk like me and parent like me. Women who understand why I enjoy sharing my stories with strangers. There have been many times in my life when I’ve said, “I don’t want to make new friends. I have enough friends.” I think I’m finally realizing that sometimes navigating new friendships is awkward, but it’s worth it.
I still haven’t been to a PTA meeting.