Guest post by Marinka of Motherhood in NYC
Once a month, I have dinner with a group of girlfriends. A gaggle of girlfriends, if you will.
They are not my closest friends, they are not the people that I talk to every day, exchange emails with or seek out when I need comfort or have exciting news.
They are the mothers of my seven year old son's friends and I wouldn't trade them for the world. (That's just an expression. Really. Make me an offer). I was included initially in their midst when I turned forty almost two years ago and they invited me out to dinner to celebrate. We've been getting together every month ever since. Not all of our children are in the same school anymore. Our children have formed different friendships. But even though I have friends who are closer, older, and let's face it, better, I look forward to these monthly dinners and I am unwilling to miss any.
We usually go to a Mexican restaurant and it is a testament to New York City that we've never been to the same one twice. We drink margaritas, order appetizers and sometimes share entrees. We drink more margaritas. One of the women usually forgets her glasses and I read the menu to her.
Then, someone will say, "Ok, who has important gossip?" We exchange stories that our husbands have no interest in, we give one sentence synopses of whatever is going on with our respective jobs, and comment on Kelly Ripa's weight. We mock one of us because she has to get back home before "Grey's Anatomy" starts and we talk about who the hottest dad in the class is. I don't tell them that my step-son's mother is gravely ill and has been all year and that the prognosis is awful and that I can't stop thinking about her and her son and that it's tearing me apart. I don't tell them because I want to have a slice of my life where I can be catty about the outfits at drop off and about whether the fact that one mom we all know looks so suddenly fantastic means that she's having an affair. All of this, and not be absorbed in pity, and in death and in reality. I don't want to infuse sadness and adulthood into our dinners. Not for their sake, but for mine.
I know that true friendship is openness and baring our souls and having our friends hold us close. And yet, these women are no less true for what they do offer me, for the boundaries that they respect and I have no doubt that they save my life. Every month.