Moving is hard. It's not the shifting boxes, settling into a new space, or finding new grocery stores and playgrounds.
It's the business with friends. Having only moved forty minutes is especially difficult in my opinion. Because I'm so close to my old friends. I'm tempted to drive down to Provo a few times a week for playdates, parties, writing group, and maybe to check out books in my own library. (Okay, the library isn't my real friend.)
It doesn't matter how old you are, it seems like that first week at church is the first day at a new school. Who should I sit by? Where are the cool kids?
If I go to the park and meet another nice mom with kids my boys' age, I try to steel myself the whole time to ask for her number. She already has friends. She might think I'm creepy. What if she doesn't think I'm as interesting as I think she is. What if she comes over for a playdate and it's weird?
It's like I'm revving myself up for a first date!
Last week, I met an awesome mom at the park and after we chatted for an hour and our kids played together, I chickened out. She walked to her car, with a backwards wave, while I was changing a diaper. I hadn't had a chance to make her my new bestie! I seriously thought about chasing her down and knocking on her car window, and saying "Come play at our house next week, where it's warm." But it was too much.
Then I went home and tried to remember what she'd said, and tried to decide when she'd be at the park next, so that we could accidentally bump into her. Yikes.
Then one of my new friends invited me over for lunch with a few other girls from the neighborhood. It was like love at first sight. They all came in, dressed so chic and with their hair in knotty buns, babies on their hips, while we talked about natural birthing, and how all of us are professional artists and moms.
I called my mom to tell her the exciting news. More friends! New friends! There's something so nice about slowly accumulating a circle of girls. But at the same time, I feel guilty every time I'm invited to something with my friends in Provo, because I can almost never steel myself for the drive, since it's usually with the boys. They don't want to be in the car for an hour a half, and where will they nap once we're there? And then I feel left-out. Dumb. Will I always feel like a teenager?
Maybe my problem is that I want to be friends with everyone and involved in everything. I need friends with kids the same age as me, so we can have playdates and talk about potty-training. I need friends who read the same books as me, so we can have Harry Potter movie nights. I need friends who are well-dressed and stylish, so I feel the need to step up my game and feel better about myself (I have this unsatisfied high-school desire to be friends with the coolest people, and for other people to think that I'm cool). I need friends with the same hobbies as me, so I can text them questions about quilting or knitting. I need friends that are better and kinder than me, so I can get off my high horse and humble myself. I need friends that are a few steps ahead of me, so I can watch how they manage their older kids and look up them. I need friends that are a few steps behind me, so I can talk with them about first pregnancies or new marriages. I need friends with twins, because no one else understands my kid-problems quite like they do.
And finding all those friends in a new town takes a while. But I feel like I finally am.
I feel like, all of a sudden, I've settled into a circle. I have friends. I have girls. I have people that I would feel alright texting in the middle of the night (if I needed to), and people I can text to come over and play in their pjs, if we don't feel like getting dressed. I have people here that I can call on a moment's notice to say, "We made twice as much food as expected, come over for dinner."
And I love it. It happened a lot faster than the last time that we moved, but I was really stepping up my game. I just couldn't sit at home by myself all day, and it sure helped that our downstairs neighbor was always outside at the same time as us, and she has already been here a year, and had lots of friends to help introduce me to.
Have you heard that expression, "Men need women, and women need men and women" ?
That's how I feel. I need my women. And I finally feel like Salt Lake has helped me find them.
So if you're my friend in Salt Lake, and you just read this... I love you. Thanks for being my friend. Come play with me.