A friend from my youth, a peer I spent my formative years with, emailed recently to let me know she is coming into town with her husband and new baby. After several tries, she successfully gave birth last year.
At first I felt excited about seeing her, but then the doubts crept in. My recent transition from a woman in mourning over being single and childless into one who accepts and even, in some ways, embraces my status has taken a tremendous amount of psychic energy. The idea of paying homage to my friend’s motherhood feels exhausting, especially if there is even a whiff of a suggestion that my life is somewhat “sad” or I am somehow “immature.”
I’ve certainly fallen down on the job of asking about her new baby. She updates me and I respond, but I don’t initiate much. I suppose I find the parenting success of long-term friends exceptionally difficult to accept, especially the ones who seemed as if they were going to accompany me on my path, only to take a sharp u-turn at the last minute.
I’m also just not in the mood to coo over one more damn baby. Okay, maybe a little, but I’m fairly cooed out.