Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sunday Brunch is the New Dinner and a Movie

About 99.5% of our close friends have children. This means that a social life that used to include lots of dinners out around town trying new restaurants, movies followed by deep discussions and the possible ridiculous miniature golf outing or multi-margarita night has changed a bit. It looks a lot more like this now:

The girls

Look at that grin

Can I keep this one?

Tickle claw wouldn't stopHillary and Helena

Our social life now involves things like brunch at one person's home while kids run and play and scream or gnaw on plastic toys while adults talk about parenting and work and dream vacations and lack of sleep and trying to cram in exercise or alone time or date night time, passing around sleeping babies and talking about our newly purchased iSomethings or that documentary we DVR'd last week or the beauty of Netflix instant watch or the books we are reading. My life has changed because our friends' lives have changed. Joe and I find ourselves sitting at train themed restaurants and yelling to talk to each other over the sound of screeching train tracks and super excited children.

Fritz's Woot WootFritz's Woot WootFritzi's Woot Woot

Fritzi's Woot WootFritz's Woot Woot

I sometimes miss our pre-kid social life. I occasionally miss the adventures and the new experiences out and about. But let's be realistic, we were never crazy partiers. And Joe and I still get to do these things. We still have the luxury of sleeping in and drinking too much occasionally. The luxury of long spontaneous dinners where we only have to feed ourselves and not another ravenous small person. And we have a few couple friends without young children. Okay, one.  So I'm not complaining. Just stopping to observe in this brief quiet moment alone on a Sunday afternoon.

Shannon, Dominic and Michael

Miss Madeline

Most of our close friends are friends we made in college or high school. So we've all essentially grown up together. Stopping to think about where we have all come from makes me proud and happy, but a touch melancholy at the same time. Those free college days are gone. Maybe it's the fact that I'm turning 35 at the end of the month. Maybe it's the fact that I just finished serving our second Sunday brunch in a row to friends with chubby armed, drooling adorable babies under the age of one. Maybe it's the ongoing realization that the next ten to twenty years will be filled with so much change.  And I have no idea what to expect. I like that and I'm scared by it. I feel like Joe and I are both on the edge of something new lately. New work/creative challenges, new expectations for ourselves, possible new small family member at some point. I feel edgy and unsettled and that's not normal for me. But that edginess has an energy and an electricity that is invigorating.

Aedan and Benjamin hug it out
Amidst all these new possibilities and upcoming changes, today I just feel grateful that we still get to spend as much time as we do with our friends. We make the time for each other. And it's different than family. We continue to choose each other and choose to make time in our lives for each other. So thank you for that. Thank you for making sure we all get squeezed in. I feel grateful to have a group of friends that will listen to me, that know me so well that even if we don't see each other as much as we used to, we are still connected. We speak the same language.

Aedan and his impressive train trackTara and Madeline

The balancing act that is parenthood isn't lost on me. I like to think that our flexibility and our understanding, and frankly the sheer enjoyment that Joe and I both get from hanging out with kids, just enhances our friendships and makes the fewer times we get together still enough. Will that make it an easier transition for us when we have kids? I hope so.  I know we will continue to meet new people and create new friendships, especially when we have a kid. But I also fear the growing apart that happens to some friendships as kids age and the focus becomes school, and sleepovers and neighborhood friends and fellow parents. Priorities shift and they have to. So I'm savoring today. I'm savoring the fruit salads and crappy train delivered hamburgers, and the screaming fits and the plastic toys scattered around our living room, and the great if stilted, while someone wipes a small snotty nose, conversations.

Caroline and Maddox

So ignore my bittersweet, wistful, getting-old post here this afternoon.  I'm excited for whatever comes next, really I am. Just look at the adorable pictures from the last few weeks of Uncle Joe and Aunt Kassie's kid time, how could I not be excited? I'm going to go get another cup of coffee and buck up.

Mr. Maddox and Mac

99.5% of photos taken by Joe Sands. Who else would have so many perfect baby pictures?


bethany actually said...

Please believe me when I tell you that all your friends with kids love you and Joe an extra measure because you don't have kids and yet you not only still want to hang out with us, you love our kids too, and take gorgeous photos of them as a bonus! Every parent can tell you stories of friends that drifted away after their first child was born because their lives just weren't on the same track anymore and the childless friends either couldn't understand or didn't want to go with the flow. We all appreciate our childless friends who stick around that little bit extra. :-)

Kristendom said...

Ditto what Bethany said. And know that I also miss those days of going out, and I'm determined to find a way to make that happen more often. After August, that is :-).
I can't tell you how much it means to me that you all are so flexible and understanding - it has made our lives easier. But also know that if we had had to ditch the kid a little more often to spend time with you all, we would have done it. You're that important to us.

kassie lou said...

Thanks, ladies. It means a lot to hear that from you both. I love both of your kids, and they would probably be pretty darn entertaining together. We should make that happen sometime! Annalie Aedan explosion!

Neha said...

Great post, fun pics as always great job Joe!

Something you really said in this post had a profound effect on me. Thank you for always making time to 'squeeze' me in at the random times I make my way back to town. Thank you for making me feel important. :)
You simply phrased that sentiment perfectly!!

Coming from a small friends/family network - it is very refreshing to read about your various trips and experiences with such fantastic people around you!

You and Joe are such a tightknit team, I can't imagine two people better suited to have kids - you know you have the tools to overcome any hurdle - not to mention you know your children will be uber multi talented! And with such wonderful friends/family around you know who you'd go to for advice. Why would you miss out on all the fun? :)

Caroline said...

I love Sunday brunch, coffees after work, and the occasional double date we all squeeze in. Your acceptance of the changes in our lives means the world to me, and I know because of that our friendship is for the long haul. :) I love you guys! Thanks for the sweet post that made me all teary-eyed! Oh - and I'm with Kristen - let's have a "college" night together soon!