Yesterday, we had dinner with a friend who is not a parent. What’s bizarre is that that is unsual for us. Actually, this weekend, both dinners were with friends who aren’t parents of toddlers — but that’s an anomaly. Our circle of friends has shifted since Sophie was born. It’s partly because lots of our friends also had babies all at once (I think we’re in a mini-baby-boom), and partly because some of our friendships were tied to sports we no longer have the time to be addicted to (surfing, rock-climbing), but mostly because asking grown-ups to adjust to our Sophie-centric life is difficult.
I always swore I wouldn’t be one of those parents who stops hanging out with non-parent friends. But who else can eat dinner at 5:15 pm because of early bedtimes? Who else can understand when I cancel plans at the last minute because Sophie’s nap was out-of-whack? Who else can put up with the distraction of a toddler at the dinner table – or the tedium of hearing me talk endlessly about parenting issues? I know there are non-parent friends who read this blog, and I love that, but I also worry a lot about myself, becoming overly absorbed in overparenting.
At dinner last night, our friend D was wonderfully interested in Sophie, but we also got to talk about things that had nothing to do with children or parenting. It was incredibly refreshing. I think we need to do less self-segregating in the parenthood ghetto — but I fear that yesterday’s dinner is more a tribute to D’s flexibility than it is to ours.