This is me with some of my “just friends”. Not my “mommy friends”. Not my “homeschool friends”. Not my “girlfriends”. Just…my friends.
I haven’t had “just friends” since I’ve had kids. Somehow, once I stopped working “in the real world” and started spending all of my time with little critters that need constant attention, I stopped having friends that were not “attached” to one aspect of my life or another.
First it was other moms who I befriended because…well we had something pretty significant in common. We mostly felt completely isolated from the real world because we had an infant and suddenly lost our “work” friends and “not parents” friends seemingly overnight. And there was always nursing and diapers and poop to discuss, so conversation flowed pretty easily. But often I found myself being “friends” with people who, under other circumstances, I would never have thought to befriend. It was a different kind of “friend” for me.
Then came homeschooling. Here, at least, were people I had more in common with. All of them chose to stay home for the long haul and educate their children themselves rather than send them to school. And, the homeschool group I joined up with was a lovely, eclectic, very open group, both in world view and in educational style. But again, despite this commonality, they were not necessarily people I would have thought to befriend otherwise.
Then came my on-line TJEd friends. And, boy, talk about small band of commonality. Just about the ONLY thing we had in common was our taste for TJEd, we mostly came from very, very different backgrounds and had vastly different world views, but we became friendly anyway.
Most recently, I've added a gaggle of D-Mom friends. Women with whom I have in common one overwhelming thing; we all have one or more children with Type 1 Diabetes. And, we all blog, which is how we found one another.
I read an article recently extolling the virtues of living in a small community where everyone knows everyone else, and you are pretty much forced to learn how to befriend, or at least get along with, people you don’t necessarily like or have anything in common with except that you live in the same small town. The same might be said for schools in which children of the same age and from the same area are all placed together and expected to befriend one another, or at least get along.
I don’t know if I would be able to make a new friend outside of my “categories” any more, and that’s kind of a strange realization. But, more poignant for me is the realization that my current friends are not longer “category” friends. They’re all Just Friends. And that’s how I like them best.
P.S. For those who've never met me in person, I'm the tall old lady...with my cute, young, short friends ;)