Friends Without Kids
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Friends Without Kids

This past weekend I had a nice break from my regular routine. Good friends of mine were in town that I have not seen for a few years so when group drinks were suggested on Facebook, I committed immediately. My husband and I have a very liberal “me time” policy so whenever either of us have a chance to get out a mix it up a little, we get a free pass.

Free pass in hand, I headed downtown to live like a heathen for a couple of hours. No laundry, grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning or feeding the cats. Hello Mardi gras. Catching up was a rather inequitable affair. While I was trying to make the working mom life sound remotely interesting, their tales consisted of international travel to places like Monaco, Malaysia, Spain, US, UK, Italy, France, Greece, Montenegro, Croatia, Latvia and Australia. I am not even kidding. Being an internet entrepreneur, the husband of the couple is able to work from anywhere, so while they are based in Las Vegas, they are free to travel and do business while enjoying the personal upside of globetrotting.

My girlfriend in the couple designs dresses and is a fashion plate extraordinaire. The inevitable exchange of digital photos ensued. Her photos consisted of her modelling her gorgeous designs with a Monaco backdrop and mine consisted of my son and our cats. Don’t get me wrong, I love my small creatures, furry and otherwise, but I did have covetous feelings that involved me digitally removing her head and replacing it with mine. Her head being thrown into the digital trash can. I kid.

Needless to say there was no contest as to whose life was more interesting, even from an objective standpoint. But this was not a contest and I was thrilled to see them, and happy that things were going well. It started me thinking though, with our lives being so different, what was the common thread that kept us interested in keeping in contact? It is common for people to drift apart after families are started, especially if not everyone starts a family. It has happened to me before and sometimes it is painful and sometimes it is just part of the natural life cycle of some friendships.

Yet this friendship has endured. We do not see each other often since we no longer live in the same city, but when we do see each other it is easy to pick up where we left off and enjoy the time we have, in the moment. On paper, we are almost polar opposites on the lifestyle spectrum. The really great thing is that we both respect each others’ lifestyle choices and there is no judging from either camp. They enthusiastically compliment how big and handsome my son is and I whine how I would love to go to Monaco. Perfect. I have known people who have retreated to their separate "kids" and "no kids" camps and the dogmas are as staunch as the smoker/non-smoker war. I have no interest in this war and am happy to maintain friends from all walks of life.

It is also a solid reminder that one does not transform into a mindless mommy or daddy after kids enter the scene. We are still the same people we were when this friendship was formed more than ten years ago. We just happen to have a few more miles under our belts and are all the more experienced for it. All of the things we shared as friends all those years ago are just enhanced by the time that has passed. When I met them they had already been together for a few years and were engaged not long afterwards. I married a couple of years after so in total they have been together almost twice as long as my husband and I. At risk of making them sound any more nauseating than they already do, I am pretty sure they are the happiest, most in love couple I know. Does not having kids have anything to do with this or would they be this blissful had they procreated?

Far from beating up on being married with kids, and though having kids puts extra strain on a relationship, I would not change a thing about my life. Do we have challenges? Um, yes. Do we make sacrifices because we have a child? Busted again. But even though jetting off to Venice is not in my iCal, I am on a journey that, at times, exceeds the glamorous sights and sounds of places like Paris and New York. First steps, first ski jump, first love. The stakes get higher every year and I have a front row seat. We can do Paris later and unless Venice sinks, we’ll catch it later too. Until then, I will see my friends for another night out next time they swing through town.


Street Talk

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