Friday, October 14, 2016

A Surprising New Friend

I've made a surprising friend in grad school. He's a guy. He's almost 13 years younger than me. And he and his wife have a ten month old baby.

I started talking to him at orientation and we had a lot of things in common. I thought that was pretty cool until he mentioned something about his baby and I immediately thought, crap, well we'll see where this goes. I even came home and told my husband that I met someone cool but he had a baby so we'd see.

Turns out, he's a really nice and funny guy. He doesn't talk about his kid incessantly and the few pictures of the kid he has shared with me are super cute. I even shared with him that I wanted kids badly and couldn't have them and that's what brought me to grad school.  It's a very surprising friendship. But this program is so hard, his wife is awesome, my husband is awesome, and I keep saying that, between the four of us, we WILL survive. And maybe even graduate.

Yesterday I went to his house to work on some projects. I was curious how I would feel since I still feel pretty raw about babies in particular. Of course, their house had toys and baby things everywhere, but it didn't bother me. In fact, I loved seeing the kid's room; it was just so cute. I even went with my friend to pick up the baby from daycare. The daycare was adorable. There were no funny smells and it was decorated so cutely. We went to the baby room and when we walked in about six babies were just staring up at me and I kind of wanted to take them all home. I smiled at and talked to each of them, asking how their day was but obviously not expecting an answer haha. As we walked back to the car, I had a moment of sadness as I thought about how I'd never be picking my kid up from childcare. I didn't say anything to my friend or even my husband when I got home. I just felt the sadness and then let it pass, and, thankfully, it did pass. Mostly.

This is my life and there's really nothing I can do about it. I tried my best to have kids, it didn't happen, and I am surviving.

I've wondered why this new friend's baby (who is one super cute baby, by the way) doesn't bother me like other friend's and family member's babies have. I think part of it is I am healing a bit. I am not allowing myself to stay stuck in my despair. (How I'm not allowing myself, I'm not so sure. Maybe moving and school have helped me move forward?) But I think another part is that my friend is so young. I wasn't even with my husband when I was his age. Because it's not even possible that my husband and I could have had a kid together at his age, I'm just not jealous.

I don't like my feelings of jealousy and avoidance, but I can't deny that they're there either. But things like this new friendship help me to believe that I am slowly but surely healing, and for that I am thankful.


  1. This is a wonderful summary: "I tried my best to have kids, it didn't happen, and I am surviving." Exactly.

    I am glad you are able to make new friends who happen to have a baby. For me, this is a sign of healing.

  2. It's a baby step in the right direction. If I'm being honest, I notice I can't start new friendships with women my age who have kids age 5 and under. But I'm thankful for any progress I can make.

  3. You have a wonderful way of encapsulating the situation; I agree with Klara: "This is my life and there's really nothing I can do about it. I tried my best to have kids, it didn't happen, and I am surviving". Succinct and black & white: I find reading that very helpful. I also find I'm OK with people with babies. I have the same initial internal groan when I find out but then seem to be OK. I'm having fewer of those "their life is better" feelings, and I'm seeing that there are advantages to not having your life revolve entirely and obsessively around a child. I still find it hard to meet with those who had a kid around the time that I was trying, though - I still feel a bit disgruntled with them.

    1. There are definitely advantages to not having your life revolve entirely and obsessively around a child!! I am just now starting to see some of those advantages.

      Me too though- it's still hard to be around kids that are the age mine would've been. Maybe that will fade with time, maybe it won't. It's still my choice who I put myself around so I don't have to get together with people with kids of that age group if I'm having a tough day.