When we first met, there was an instant connection. It was something I hadn’t felt in years. I was seen and known by an equal: a fellow survivor of public, postpartum, sneeze-induced bathroom breaks.
But I was hesitant. Was I ready for this? Did I actually know how to connect with another human being for whom kindergarten was a distant memory? I felt like I needed some literature on the topic.
As I emerged friendless from those first few months with a new baby, I was taken back to my own childhood years on the playground, spent with my nose in a book and terrified of attempting to make connections that were bound to misfire.
The first time we arranged to get coffee together, I was up in the wee hours of the morning trying to pick the perfect outfit. Arrive too put-together and I would look like I tried too hard to pretend motherhood is a breeze. But arrive too messy and I would look like my standards were dismally low. (Of course, this is true, but it’s not a first date sort of revelation.) I wrestled with what details of my life to share. What do adults even talk about in public, I wondered? Hopefully, conversations about baby bowel movements and our favorite season of FRIENDS would be enough.
And I guess it was. Five years later, this mama remains one of my closest friends, a sister and comrade in the daily battles we wage against our tiny, tyrannical roommates.
Making friends as an adult is somehow immensely more difficult than it ever was as an awkward child. But at least now, I’m not afraid to air my dirty laundry. Mostly because our house doesn’t have an actual laundry room. But my friends don’t judge me for that, either.