Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Gift that Keeps on Giving

I was always a guy's girl. I was the one who talked sports with them, listened to rock while their girlfriends had pop music on the dial. I chugged beer, smoked dope (of COURSE I didn't inhale! Not once! Not even now, on the rare occasion that I smell it in the air, I NEVER take a deeper breath than necessary!) and listened to all their boy talk.

My senior year of college I started hanging out more with the girls. I'm not exactly sure why. Maybe I realized the way to, you know, meet new guys was not to always be going out to the bars with large groups of them. These girls were an awful bunch, looking back on it. They were all gorgeous and one, in particular, knew it. There really is nothing good about five women living in a two bedroom apartment. I was not sad when that semester ended.

The career I chose all but guaranteed I'd be surrounded by all men, all the time. At one point, there were only two women covering Major League Baseball in the country.

So I didn't exactly pal around with women on a daily basis, although I did make some amazing women friends all over the country.

Then I had Sawyer.

I joined a new mom's support group at the hospital where I delivered. And found some wonderful women who I still rely upon for advice, venting, confession.

But Sawyer's four. It's been awhile since I've made another friend.

I meet plenty of moms every day, at the park, different classes Sage takes, Sawyer's preschool. But I haven't really clicked that much with anyone. Or maybe I like the mom but the kid is a nightmare. Whatever.

A month or so ago, I had a brief "right on, sister!" moment at a local park. Sage was playing with this little girl. So I chatted with the mom. We were talking about preschool, because she also has a son who is a week older than Sawyer.

That subject turned to religion and how there are more religious preschools around here than secular ones. But she, like me, wanted her kids at a secular one. We discussed the often bizarre experience of living in the Bible Belt that is South Orange County - Saddleback Church, one of those megachurches (the pastor is Rick Warren who wrote the bestseller Purpose Driven Life), is about two miles from my house.

It could be worse. We could live in Florida, which thinks it's okay for the government to make this:

We both have met many people claiming to be Christians but whose actions are anything but (obviously there are those who walk the talk. But it seems there are equal numbers of those who are shtupping the neighbor on Saturday night and then are front row center at church Sunday morning - and who make sure everyone knows they are regular churchgoers).

The meeting of the minds went on for maybe 20 minutes. Then she left. And I was left thinking "Wow, someone who thinks just like I do. In Orange County. Shocking!"

So imagine my surprise when, a couple weeks ago, a mom tapped me on the shoulder at Sage's gym class and said "Remember me? We talked religion at the park."

Turns out her daughter, H, is in Sage's gym class. And then they randomly came to our closest park last week.

This week, we decided to have a playdate. We were to meet at the park and stay for lunch. Only, Sawyer had this weird fever with no other symptoms - except for this spot on his lip that he likes to pick.

I decided to go ahead with the playdate because Sawyer was SO excited to meet H's brother, G. Off we went. After a slow start, where Sawyer just sat in the sand and stared into space, the kids started pretending they were pterodactyls and went flying all over the park.

And K and I got to sit and talk. She said:

"You're not from here, are you."

Because she's not either. Like me, she's from New England. Us East Coasters have a way of finding each other out here in the wilderness.

The kids had a great time, and Sawyer cried when we left. Then he went home and took a nap. For the second day in a row. He hasn't napped in months. He woke up with a fever.

Yesterday I noticed the blisters on his feet.

Yegads. Cocksackie, better known as Hand, Foot and Mouth disease. HIGHLY contagious.

I'm hoping K's kids only left the park with sand on their feet, and not a nasty case of HFM.

The good news is K laughed at my email and is not concerned. She wants to do another playdate.

After all, a good friend is hard to find.


Simply Lovely Gifts said...

Sorry to hear about the HFM, but so glad to hear you found someone cool! People that you click with are SO hard to find (I also rarely find them). Yay you!!

Dawn said...

It is hard to find sane, cool moms, isn't it? I have several good mom girlfriends, thank goodness, b/c my neighborhood moms are totally whack.

Congrats on finding the needle in the haystack!

Sorry to hear about the HFM! Thank goodness it didn't freak her out. ;)

Jen C said...

Woot! Love finding friends with shared common interests/beliefs/goals.

And I had no idea a) OC was so religious and b) that FL allows, no strike that, sanctions a license plate like that. I mean I'm all for a big old cross, star of david or cresent moon but on a state license plate? Hmmm...maybe FL offers a plethora of religious iconography on their plates? I'll forgive them if they do.

Anyway, here's to friendship!

Melissa said...

Well written post! First of all, kudos for finding a like-minded girlfriend to hang with. They are not easy to find. And I, personally, find girlfriends to be invaluable. Second, how scary is that license plate??!! Yikes! Just another reminder of why I should not move to Florida. :-)

Cheryl said...

Okay, when I lived in Florida, my license plate said "Save the Manatees."

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