The Gift of Friends Who Knew You Before Kids

Two of my dearest friends just visited.  We now have ten daughters between the three of us (ten!).  We met when we were in our late 20's and working long hours together at a big law firm in Washington, D.C.  Our lives were very different then; we were very different then.  I have to say, there's something special about my friends who knew me before I became a mom.  I've been trying to put my finger exactly what that is, and I think it's that they have a more complete picture of me.  In short, they knew me before:

  1.  They knew me when my wardrobe consisted of stylish tops, trousers, heels, and a variety of accessories.  When I wore makeup and blew my hair dry every day.  Waaaay before the days of dry shampoo.  And undereye concealer too.  I barely remember this version of myself, y'all.  
  2. They knew me when my ambitions were vast and anything seemed possible.  They knew me long before lists of life goals included sleeping all night and finding a sippy cup that doesn't leak or have 50+ parts. (Why is this so impossible?  Why?)  
  3. They knew me when I went to happy hours on a whim, where cocktails flowed freely and we'd move from happy hour to dinner and stay out much too late, laughing and drinking.
  4. They knew me and my husband when we were a party of two.  I repeat, party of two.  Amazing.    
  5. They knew me when my weekend plans included leisurely brunches and back-to-back movies.
  6. They knew me when I wasn't sleep deprived.  (Again, kind of wanting to revisit that version of me).
  7. They knew me when I drove a tiny car.  Long before the SUV, the the mini van, and now the big van.  That was so many vehicles ago, friends.
  8. They knew me when we'd travel to far away places at the drop of a hat, with only a small carry-on in tow: Greece, Costa Rica, France--the world was waiting and we were ready to go.
  9. They knew me when working out actually meant going to the gym or running rather than hauling babies and carseats back and forth to the van.
  10. They knew me when I was stressed about short-deadline projects and briefs rather than stomach bugs and developmental milestones.
  11. They knew me when I whispered in the bar that I was fake drinking because I was pregnant with a baby that was the size of an olive.
  12. They knew me when we had a gender reveal party at an Irish pub, and we opened the envelope and found out our first baby was a girl.     
  13. They knew me when I welcomed my first baby girl into the world.  Then the second.  Then the third.  Then the fourth, fifth, and sixth.  They cheered.  They cried.  And they came to visit me and my babies, where they held them and marveled at their littleness.   

I love that they knew me before kids--what made me tick, what motivated me, what made me happy--and were witnesses to my journey of creating my family.  And what I love even more about these friends is that they still know me, too.  

  1. They know that I generally only wear makeup if I have an appointment (hello, jury duty and parent teacher conferences) or am going out on a date night.
  2. They know that happy hour now means drinking a glass of wine in my kitchen while I sweep up crushed graham crackers.  
  3. They know that it requires a lot of coordination and a team of babysitters to go out to dinner. 
  4. They know that if they text me at 10 p.m. and I don't answer, I'm asleep on the couch.  
  5. They know that I'm happy with life as a party of 8.
  6. They know that brunch doesn't happen and the only movies I see are rated PG or G.
  7. They know that my weekend plans now include t-ball games, birthday parties, and the occasional date night.  
  8. They know that travel requires days and days of preparation and packing, and that I never travel on a whim these days.
  9. They know that I've traded big-city daily commutes for crazy-long carpool lines, which I happen to love because it means no one can touch me for 20 minutes. 
  10. They know that I regularly spend a small fortune on coffee rather than vacations because my little coffee is like a 30 second vacation every day.
  11. They know that I love my kids and my husband, even though I sometimes complain. 
  12. They know that my babies are miracles and I'm so thankful every day that they're here and healthy.  
  13. They know that my phone chats, visits, and texts with them are the highlights of my days.
  14. They know that our children will always know each other, and we will always be present in each others' lives, because no matter what changes, we're in it together.

To my friends, thanks for being there before and after, and the entire time.  I love you and I'm so thankful for our friendship.

My friends and I with 7/10 of our group.