Thursday, November 4, 2010


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!


Amber said...

Aimee, I love this post! I love that you decided you needed friends, and then you just found a way to make friends. I think that making friends is something we take for granted for the first 20 or so years of our lives, or maybe even longer, as it just happens naturally with school and then work. Once we become moms, it suddenly has to be a deliberate process, and we have to pursue building friendships with intent. I have been struggling with not having a lot of friends for the past few years, even since we left New York. I am determined when we move to Phoenix that I will seek out more opportunities to build friendships. Your post has totally inspired and motivated me! Thanks!

Aimee said...

@Amber-It was hard. I had these moments of "what if they don't like me..." and other silly things that stopped me from reaching out. However, what I found is that 4 of the 5 ladies I have become close to were REALLY lonely. Not of us had friends. So, it was very affirming that I need to go out of my way to create that community we have lost in this modern era. Someone won't think I am weird if I stop by their house with muffins or invite someone over for coffee/tea/juice. Most likely it will be a welcome endeavor.

Alison said...

My very brave friend...I'm glad you have some close by and am also glad to be counted as one that is far away - miss you!

Beth and Shayna said...

Ah, you totally made me tear up with this post! I am so blessed and lucky to live across the street from you and be able to become your friend. I share your same thoughts and have been so happy since we all have really become close. Life is more enjoyable when you know you are not alone. Thank you for being one of my friends!

Joleen said...

This is another post I can relate to. I've been "lonely" for 3 years. Knowing we'll be moving yet again within a year's time makes it hard. I have a feeling our lives will be this way, (frequent moves), until the economy stabilizes. Though I love seeing new places and experiencing new things, it's definitely hard to cultivate lasting relationships. Wherever we end up next though I will be making more of an effort to meet new people.
I'm so happy for you and Jameson!! :-D