Friends

When Julian was a baby, and really all through his toddlerhood, I was fortunate to have a great network of fellow moms in my neighborhood who were all in the same boat. We went through the early stages of motherhood together. The sleep deprivation, the demands, the challenges, the joy. Our kids saw each other every week, sometimes every day.

But then we all got busy. And our kids weren’t babies anymore. They had started to make their own friends. And most of us moms had given birth to another baby in the meantime. All of a sudden we were busy times two. There was school and schedules and nap times, and all of a sudden it was much harder to get together.

In the meantime, Julian has made his own friends. I’m not necessarily friends with all the moms, but with some I am. And it’s kind of cool. I’ve actually made my own friends through the friendships my kid has formed on his own.

In school, there are three girls in particular who Julian adores. Two of them, we’re told, fight over him sometimes to the point of tears. We’ve had one of his friends over a few times to play recently, and she is like a pint-sized babysitter. I never see much of them. They are all happy to play together; of course Arthur is right there in the mix.

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Sometimes I wonder what they’re talking about when they stand or walk together and I can’t hear. Other times, when I’m right there, it’s just so adorably strange. Like when Julian asks his friend, very seriously, if she hears the differences in brake sounds on the subway. And his buddy, sweet as she is, has no idea what he is talking about and smiles and says of course she hears it!

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So now that it’s no longer freezing outside, we’ve been spending every waking minute outside with our friends. It’s so lovely to be around people again outside. It’s been a long winter.

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Arthur doesn’t have many friends of his own, but he’s always so happy to play with Julian’s friends, and they are all sweet to him. He just follows along with the big kids, even if there is a younger sibling around. Big kids is all he knows and cares about. And of course there is his best buddy always within reach. The Elsa to his Anna. The J train to his A train.

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