Every time you leave, I am always sad to see you go. It is difficult to see a mom friend leave.
It is a chest-swelling sadness. Complicated and deep. We became friends because our children connected at school or on the playground or at a mommy-and-me class. Eyes bright and pure, they saw the same kindred spirit inside each other and laughed with joy when they found it. They never let go of each other’s hands.
You and I arrived in each other’s lives at a moment when I thought I wasn’t very good at making mom friends. I’m still not very good at making mom friends. I struggle with finding ways to share pieces of myself with others so honestly. It is hard for me to crack open the shell of my life so that others may see the insides, raw and deep.
Thank you for making it easy.
We live in California, a transient state. It is full of countless highways in and just as many highways out. People come and people go, sometimes without a second thought. The same heated sun that brought us here is the same sun that makes many of us stay.
But still, you leave.
And I understand. I truly do. I was once the mother who moved away and I may be the one who moves again. With the pandemic simmering in the background of everything we do, a migration is taking place and I understand that you may move to be closer to family that you left long ago. I understand that California has become an impossible state to live in with skyrocketing home prices and rent. I understand that jobs have altered and changed, that we no longer stay in the same company for thirty years like our parents once did.
Even though you are leaving, I will help you pack. I will offer to pick up boxes and I will listen to the hardships of placing everything you own into a truck and driving off to a new city. I will commensurate with the complicated process of shifting homes, shifting jobs, shifting friendships, shifting life. You are still my soul friend.
My daughters will miss your kind children. They will ask me many times where you have gone and why they can no longer play with your child. Gently and persistently, I’ll remind them that you now live in a different city and it is too far for us to have a playdate together. I’ll remind them that they will no longer see your child at school, but that this is the best for your family right now. With sorrys falling from my lips, I’ll encourage them to keep in touch, to write or call or Facetime.
I will miss your dear friendship. It isn’t easy to bind ourselves to another person’s life. It isn’t easy to be so open and vulnerable. As mothers, it becomes even harder to find time to build friendships like we used to. Our patience is thinner, our threshold for mature friendships higher. We want to find fellow parents that understand the same plights, that raise their children with the same morals, that see the worth and decency of every human and strive to make this world a better place.
It’s a tall order.
Thank you for being that friend to me and for the laughter that settled into my belly every time we connected. I hope we stay connected, but I also understand that we may not. It is hard enough maintaining friendships in the same city, let alone different states. I understand we may have to let each other go. And that is OK. I will remember you as the friend that crossed my path for a few years during one of the hardest times of my life.
Thank you for inviting me to be a part of your own little world and for sharing a piece of mine. I wish you miles of luck and light and joy wherever you land. The new mom friends you meet will be better for it having you laughing and loving in their lives.