One of the best things I did for myself this past summer was to sit outside with Jameson until I became friends with the ladies on my street. I was determined. I have lived in this very same house since 2006, and while I knew everyone's names, said hi every once in awhile and even shared a laugh or two, we were far from friends. I was lonely and miserable without girlfriends.
I am one that has always had a group of girlfriends, to which I am still very close. I made friends easily in Boulder the first year I lived in Colorado because I was in classes, but once we moved to Littleton life was crazy. We were living in Vienna more often than we weren't. Then we had a baby (in Portland), after that Jameson and I were in Vienna for 9 months the year he was born. We traveled even when we were in Colorado, and no one in the neighborhood knew when we were coming or going. To top it off, we put our house up on the market, so I definitely wasn't someone to become friends with, since I would be leaving!
But this summer, we were NOT traveling (much), our house was NOT on the market, Jameson was old enough to be playing ball or riding his bike and was interested in meeting other kids. Slowly but surely, the moms started talking, the kids started playing and friendship was formed. Let me tell you, life is so much happier with friends! Everyday Jameson wants to see his friends. He even asks daily to take care of the neighbor dog because we dog-sat her for a weekend.
Life is much happier when you can knock on a friend's door to drop off your kid to get some grocery shopping done (alone) or when you volunteer to take her kid(s) knowing that eventually it will come back to you.
Just last week, we had a game party to raise some money for one of the little guys in the neighborhood with an unknown illness so that they could travel to the National Institute of Health, joined another couple for a spontaneous dinner out, had a Chili cook-off and went trick-or-treating with the group on Halloween. On any given day I see most of the four other woman and their kids. We text, we email and call each other as well as knocking on each others' doors. On sunny days, a soccer ball is brought out or bikes are ridden up and down the street while the moms chat.
We aren't all the same ages, our kids are different ages, and have different personalities. We raise our kids differently in different religions with different values, but we are fine to disagree or offer/ask advice to/of one another. We are moms all of us, and its the similarities that bind us.
I am so glad I took the time to get to know them. They have made life here in Colorado much easier. At first it was so exciting I came in everyday from our daily chats and would exclaim to Kevin: "I have friends!" Now I miss them when I go a day or two and haven't had a good conversation with them.
While I wish I could take my friends from all over and move them right next to me, I know that is an impossibility. I have to settle for the phone and yearly visits with my closest girlfriends, but life is definitely better since I have friends near-by!