Tonight, Chris and I rented a Zipcar for a 1.5 hour drive out to Long Island for my friend’s 40th birthday. Luckily for us, a good friend of mine agreed to babysit Kaia for the evening, and she even commuted all the way from Staten Island and agreed to stay the night given how far away home would be for her. I told my friend that there was no way in hell we were going to back out despite the distance and the fact we couldn’t get there via public transit easily; we really needed to get out of the house without the baby, and I needed to socialize with other adults… even if all of those other adults just wanted to talk about their kids.
My friend warned me ahead of time that pretty much all the other parents coming would be there because they are the parents of her kids’ friends. So I kind of braced myself and waited for the kids conversations to come. But I was pleasantly surprised when I had some pretty good one on one conversations with a few of the party attendees, ranging from not just babies and nannies and daycare, but also traveling, relocating, comparing different cities, and of course, my favorite topic — food and restaurants. When we were all seated at the tables for dinner, the conversation ended up becoming more about kids and child-rearing in general, but given how all these friends know each other, I wasn’t really bothered by it since I expected it. Plus, sometimes, it is funny to hear about these random “child terrorist” stories and laugh about them every now and then.
In general, I’m more open to the idea of making friends with parents because their kids get along with my kid. It’s important to be able to trust the parents of the kids that your child is going to spend time with, especially if they end up spending time in their homes when you aren’t around eventually. I’m just not necessarily expecting any of these people to become my best friend forever. I don’t want to be the way my mom was with me and pretty much never trust anyone and constantly assume the absolute worst of all other parents. But the only way to begin trusting anyone is to spend some time with them.