Greetings, KuKd Strong Mommas and Inquisitive Guests!
Some of you may recall me mentioning N, one of my best prego buddies. I had two, really, and she was one of them. We were all due the same week in October. From the second I met N, I knew we were going to be not just friends, but really really really good friends. Here's why:
1) She had a loud and low voice. Most of my friends have loud, low voices like me. Teacher voices, bitchy voices, theatre-major voices.
2) She liked beer, steak, and bacon - which automatically raise a person's level of blue-collar coolness.
3) She laughed at what I said, which made me feel funnier than I really am.
4) We would go out together with other people, and then she would call me on the phone an hour later to "debrief." That's it. Not to say anything absolutely necessary, not to convey important information. Just to hash over what had just happened, what it all meant, what was UP with that chick's outfit, did I pick up on the rude undertones of so-and-so's comment, etc.
5) She was kind of paranoid about her pregnancy, which made me feel okay being paranoid. We were paranoid together.
6) She was pretty, but in a make-up-free, earthy way. Much prettier than me. It's rare to meet a pretty person who isn't obnoxiously full of their own prettiness.
7) Out of desperation, she had pooped behind a tree in an upscale neigborhood. Yet another thing to add to her likability factor.
8) And finally, of course, the number one reason: our kids were going to be born on about the same day. A notion loaded potential, with dreams of the future, with will-be's and can't-wait-to-be's.
Can't you see why I would become instant friends with N?
Now, of course, those will-be's and can't-wait-to-be's have turned into could-have-been's. There's a chasm that formed between us, and it is still the one thing - nearly a year-and-a-half after losing the baby, that frustrates and baffles and saddens me to no end. I don't know when it started happening, when I began realizing the cruel inevitible: that I would have to distance myself from N, that I wasn't as thick-skinned as I'd thought, and that distancing myself from her would give her a cue to step back. Which I did, and which she did.
And she's knocked up again now, which makes for an even wider chasm.
I want to reign it in, reenact the friendship we once had, reconstruct the reality that once was my bubble world, but how? I want to be there for her, but if I can't stir up conversations and questions about the ONE THING dominating her life right now - new parenthood and another baby on the way - how is a real close friendship even possible? How do you maintain a close friendship with someone when neither of you can relate (at ALL) to each others' life-altering predicaments, and when the main commonality that brought you together is such a source of pain?
Oh, we both still try, grasping fleetingly for friendship. A Christmas card here, a package sent there, an invitation to a dance party, a "what's up" e-mail. We try, and we always belly laugh and skillfully dodge any kind of touchy subject matter, like some kind of conversational snake-dance. It makes me wistful in the end, reminding me still of the could-have-beens, kind of like hanging out with an ex-boyfriend.
I'm waiting for the day when I can open my heart back up to how it used to be, and let her and her beautiful son inside. I hope that day comes soon.