Sometimes you just want to share a cocktail with friends and talk about anything but
One of my oldest friends recently told me she thought she was ‘a fifteen year old trapped in a 40 year old’s body’. She has kids that age and is — honestly — an amazing mom. She spends most of her social time with her kids and their friends and her kids are, easily, her number one interest.
So when we get together, she talk about kids. We were regular dog walking friends through the pandemic so we would see each other a quite a lot. She said her mind is quite fixated on what what her kids are up to, what their plans are for the future, issues around social media and internet safety. As things have opened up, she loves being invited to chaperon parties or simply to hang out with her son and his friends or with her son’s girlfriend. She actually got a bit of blowback from her son because he found out she was still hanging out with his ex girlfriend occasionally.
As parents, all of our worlds — to an extent — revolve around our kids. But I would life to think we all also have separate, adult, lives. I have kids too — about the same age as my friend’s kids — and I do enjoy talking about them and, clearly, writing about them. Sometimes.
When we were on a walk, not too long ago, I asked if we could talk about other things. We have a long history together and we used to discuss everything from career to sex to politics. We actually used to talk about sex a lot, and she credits my wife and and with reawakening her sexual spark after she had kids. She said she and her husband went through a pretty long sexual drought after kids. They met us when their kids were 5 and 6 years old, and our openness about sex reignited them.
When I asked if we could talk about other things, she was at a bit of a loss. She said — in a very non defensive way — “I don’t know if I know how anymore”. As she had been pulled into the world of her teenage kids, it seems she was pulled out of all other worlds. She knew the latest videos on TikTok but she had no idea what was going on in the news. She new the acceptance rate at the best engineering schools, but she didn’t know our neighbourhood restaurant had switched to an all takeout menu. She knew her kids were starting to have sex…