I am very fortunate to know a lot of fantastic women that I call friends. When my partner and I moved into our downtown neighbourhood, I was a good four months pregnant with our second child, still working full-time at a pretty demanding job, and had gone deep into social hibernation.
As we walked to and from work that winter, me getting rounder and slower by the week, I absolutely thought my partner had lost his mind. He was talking to people we passed in the neighbourhood. Not just the friendly big city smile and nod of acknowledgement; the ‘Hi. I vaguely recognize you as somebody I see every day on the way to the subway’ smile. He was chit chatting. About us, our house (our very first), our kid, the kid on the way… I was dumbfounded.
Then spring came and so did boy number two. Stepping outside with him was like an open invitation for people to approach, to coo over him, to ask how we were doing. I learned that our little street was in the middle of a massive baby boom and there was well over 25 kids by that point, most of them under the age of 10.
But best of all were the ladies. I met them sometimes one by one and sometimes in an overwhelming group. I learned that sitting on your front porch on a beautiful night was an open invitation for people to join you. Wine would appear and somebody would grab some chips or the ‘good’ chocolate that we mummies keep for emergencies, hidden from the husbands and children.
We would talk about everything under the sun – how our kids deove us crazy sometimes, or how our husbands or partners didn’t seem to get how hard it was to be a mother working inside or outside the home. We talked about how our bodies had changed since having babies and compared notes on how we were coping with life’s challenges.
Our kids ranged from newborns to newly fledged teens and our ages were anywhere between the early thirties to over 50 but we were able to share with each other, to learn from one another. It made me realize the value of friendship, especially between women. We kept each other sane. We still do. People have come and gone from our group, some are closer than others. We have expanded off our own street to neighbours further out and friends of friends. Everybody is welcome to share a night with ‘the girls.’ When we get together, I can’t stop smiling. They have my back when I need them and they are always willing to share their good chocolate.