selfless and selfish

the best part about keeping a friend from childhood is getting to see how different that person becomes. when I first met nicole, it was jr. high, and we were both awkward in our own ways. we wrote notes to each other where we talked about how much life sucked sometimes and whether our parents would agree to drive one of us to the other's house, since we lived on opposite sides of the universe, both of us being on the fringes of the school district in opposite directions.

our high school years weren't spent in constant company, but we were close enough. nicole had her own friends and her own thing going on, and that was punctuated by her long, permed blond hair, which I still think looked stunning on her. college days came and while I was in my black hole dealing with trent and what was probably a good bit of PPD, nicole kept in touch from pitt, where she started out. brett and I went out to visit, and she loved showing us the city of pittsburgh. I think she just loved the city, having grown up in the woods.

eventually she moved to philadelphia (into the tiniest apartment I have ever seen in my life, where she was fairly poor; I remember buying her groceries after hearing that she was eating cheerios and peanut butter - again; while she worked at the garden for a mega bitch and was going to temple) and then out to rockville maryland to be with the band. when she told me she was sort of dating (loosely termed) the bassist, I figured it was part and parcel of the band experience. when it was clear that "it's serious", I was excited to welcome mark into the fold.

nicole was a friend to me when I had very few friends, and even when things were distant, she persevered with our friendship, something that I'll always be grateful for. she called even though I didn't, she visited even though I wouldn't. but even though our friendship bloomed (especially when she got me a job at cdnow) and grew, I always felt like there was one area of my life that she and I just couldn't connect. when she said she and mark were talking about marriage, and subsequently children, my heart turned over. none of my friends had children, and this was the one thing that I always felt made me somewhat of an anomaly with our group of friends, which by this time included jen and jon o, theresa, and lots of other folks.

so it was with a bit of selfishness that I longed for nicole and mark to marry and procreate. I wanted a mom friend desperately and who better than nicole? she and I would email each other every day, talking about the most mundane things. like paper towels and what we made for dinner. she was always attentive to my mom stuff, like what sport trent was playing or what he did that was cute, but I longed for commiseration.

when she told me that she and mark (now her husband) were trying to get pregnant, I was thrilled not only for her, but for me. I know it's selfish.

and now, today is noah's first birthday. I know I should be going on and on about how cute noah is and how much he's changed mark and nicole's lives and how they are great parents, but I don't think I have to say all that. they know. people who know them know. today, selfishly again, I wanted to remember the day I made my first and dearest mommy friend. I want to talk about the transformation between a young girl in a turtleneck and vest, to a college girl looking for god, to a rocker with black hair and thrift store clothes, to a working woman running her own household, to a wife with a sweet husband, to a mother.

happy birthday, noah, and happy first mother anniversary, nicole.

5 validations:

Missuz J said...

ihYou and nicole have a beautiful friendship. I'm so glad that I get to peek into it.

lonna said...

I think that it's so awesome that Bella and Noah are only 4 days apart. My brother and my oldest cousin were born exactly 12 hours apart, and they are fairly close.

All of my friends who are also moms live in other states. I don't blame you for wanting another mommy friend. But the flipside of that is that you wanted Nicole to be a mom because you know how much that has meant to you and you knew how much she wanted to become a mom. It's great that you remember it's her one year anniversary as a mom too.

NME said...

Good god woman! I'm a mess after reading that. All choked up and teary eyed. As if I'm not emotional enough.

I always thought I understood how you felt alienated as a young mother - but now I'm sure my approximations never approached the tip of the iceberg. To not have other Moms to share your experiences with must have been SO incredibly difficult. I know getting feedback from other moms keeps me sane. How much you have accomplished and how far you have come with so little help amazes me constantly.

Love you very much and SO very thrilled to be sharing mommyhood with you.

Carol said...

Patrice - You are really something! I am so happy Niki has such a good and close friend. I too remember the young girl in a turtleneck and vest, the college girl looking for god, the rocker with black hair and thrift store clothes. Thanks for bringing back memories for me! You forgot the pink hair after London!

Stine said...

What a lovely story, thank you for sharing it.