The other day I was walking at the mall when I heard a voice call my name. I looked around and saw one of the moms from my son’s school. An old friend. A dear friend that I haven’t seen nor talked to in a long time.
My son and her daughter were classmates when they were in Senior Prep. They were only 6 years old then. She’s also a full-time mom like me and we were of the same age. We instantly hit it off.
Together with two or three other moms with children in the same batch as ours, we would spend our Friday afternoons bringing our kids to the arcade. We would wait for hours as our little ones play arcade games to their hearts’ delight. While the kids play, the adults chat… and chat and chat. And I mean chat in person…
Ours was a friendship strengthened by the fact that our children were friends, as well. We would talk about anything and everything. Relationships, parenting, school issues, you name it.
Fridays were for arcade games or malling or eating out. Holidays were for swimming. Halloween was for trick or treat parties. Life was so much easier then. Everything seemed so light. Happiness was seeing and hearing our kids laughing together. Like a glass of sparkling wine, everything seemed light and bubbly.
And then the kids grew up… and they started having their own set of friends. Different sets of friends. The girls chose to be with other girls… the boys hang out with other boys.
The laughter and giggles disappeared. All of a sudden they were ill at ease with each other. At one gathering, the girls only spoke to each other… the boys either kept their eyes glued on their PSPs or drowned out the outside noise using their earplugs. And so while the moms were chatting away, the children were in their own separate worlds.
It was a sad sight, really.
I can’t exactly pinpoint when everything changed for my son. I think it began when he started playing baseball… and took baseball seriously. He gained new friends — mostly boys — and they had something in common… the love for the sport. They can talk baseball for hours and not get tired.
I tried asking my son to spend time with his old friends, but eventually, I had to give it up since we didn’t have too much time to spare. Our lives revolved around baseball. And yes, they have all grown up and they (my son and his childhood friends) have begun to choose for themselves the people they would hang out with.
You really cannot choose your child’s friends for him. Hard as you try.
I haven’t seen this mom for quite some time and I was really thrilled when I saw her at the mall. It was quite nostalgic. We’ve known each other for seven years, but for the past three years, I have been pretty much out of touch. Seeing her again made me remember the days when our kids were much, much younger. When life was light and easy…
The past couple of years have been quite difficult for me in the “friendship” area since I have experienced betrayal of someone whom I thought was a good friend. At my age, I never expected to fall victim to someone who acts like a real, genuine friend one day then stab you in the back the next. I thought that only happens in high school.
I never thought that at this point in my life, I will end up being paranoid as to who I can or should trust. I thought the parents of my son’s friends will also be MY friends. I thought that this baseball world that we are involved in will create more friendships for me and my family.
Well, it did. But then it also taught me not to be too trusting. I learned the hard way.
I am having lunch with Mrs. Light and Bubbly sometime next week. I feel bad for neglecting them all those months that I was busy with baseball. I realized that relationships have to be nurtured.
Even though I was busy with other things and my son has outgrown arcade games, I should have taken time for my friends. I didn’t have to “outgrow” them, too.
Good thing it’s never too late to rebuild a friendship. And when you are in the company of REAL friends, despite the length of time that has passed since you have last seen each other, well, the trust is still there. The love is still there.
Everything’s still light and bubbly.
credits: photos via google image, stockphoto.com