Yesterday I went to Cambridge to see my friend’s new baby. It doesn’t matter if you don’t see a friend for six months because they’ll still know who you are when you turn up at the door. But if you don’t see a child for six months then there's no chance they’ll recognise you the next time they see you. So, there's nothing for it but regular journeying.
I had a very nostalgic time cuddling the baby, but it made me a little bit sad to think how my friends have dissipated. Once upon a time not so very long ago we all lived in London and took meeting up regularly for granted. Now we are having babies and living in places like Hampshire and Kent and Durham and Cambridge and Bath and Devon and Lincoln and Bristol, and really – although I think I may have started it – I’m not sure I approve of it. I want to be able to pop in and babysit their children occasionally so they can have a night out, and for them to feel they can say ‘well this week’s been a bit sh*t’ when it has, and to drink bottle of wine together to make it seem better. This, after all, is what friends are for.
I have made some wonderful local mummy friends in the last four years, whom I honestly couldn’t survive without. But I think of my oldest and bestest friends living miles away and am acutely aware that parenthood must be changing them, and that at this particular juncture in one’s life, distance can create distance. And that’s just between mummies, never mind what happens to the friendships with your non-mummy friends.
If truth be told, I was also a little bit sad to think that the Boo is no longer really a boo but a marauding toddler who calls the shots about when it’s time for a cuddle. The Impster adores babies and asks if we can have a new one every day. But the previous night, she requested a scientific explanation of how a baby gets into its mummy’s tummy. I think this might be nature’s way of telling me to quit while I’m ahead.