Thursday, September 9, 2010

What Have I Done

Have you ever made plans... scratch that... Initiated plans to do something with someone and then said to yourself, "Why did I do that?" And you spend the moments (maybe days) leading up to those plans a little sick to your stomach. Well, "HERE I AM!"

Today the kids have off from school in observance of Rosh Hashanah. We are not Jewish so without services to attend, it's a free day in the middle of the week.

Last week, I suggested to one of my daughter's friend's mothers that we take the girls shopping for school clothes. I remember that as the words were coming out of my mouth, I was thinking "I'd really rather it be just my daughter and I but I know this is a store this other mother enjoys and it might be fun for the girls. Besides, she's always asking me to do things and I only accept 50% of the time. She probably thinks I don't get out much. Better do something with her and then I can take a break for awhile." Whew! That's a lot to be thinking as you ask someone to go shopping for a few hours.

Let me back track a bit. I like this person. I consider us friends. But we have fundemental lifestyle differences that prevent us from being closer. The biggest one is she is "a more the merrier"person, and I prefer "one on one". I think the first waters down relationships and makes everything you share together broad and on the surface. I'll explain... if you have 8 people and you're ordering pizza, chances are you'll just go with cheese because everyone will be happy. On the other hand, if there are only 2 people, you may find there is a whole list of toppings you both enjoy and can share. When are you ever going to find 8 people to agree on a whole list of toppings equally? So, more people, less depth in the relationship. Kind of the way I feel about my list of facebook friends. I don't have many, but I talk to all of them. I don't understand people who have hundreds of people on their lists; you can't be "real" friends with that many people.

Now, in the past, I'll say, 9 months, I've seen a shift in the relationship between our daughters. My daughter, while friendly with everyone (and that's truth, not just her Mommy here bragging that she's popular - heehee), enjoys one on one time with each of her close friends. Her friend prefers to add on people to make a group and it's starting to wear on my girl. Just recently, my daughter and I took her friend to the pool to play and her friend left her to find more people to play with. My daughter followed suit but finally gave up. She just didn't want to chase after someone that was chasing after more.

This morning it's just going to be the four of us, but then, just yesterday, the mother asked if my daughter wanted to come over in the afternoon to play... "there is going to a whole group of kids". I said I'd ask my daughter if she wanted to. When I did, she said "I don't know" which we all know is kidspeak for "no".

So here I am, after a restless night's sleep, preparing myself for how I'm going to tell this mother that my daughter would rather not. This is the point where I usually blame it on myself "oh I need her to come home to practice piano or help me with chores" but I think I'm going to just tell her today. Tell her that the kids are growing apart and that my daughter and her friend have spent the morning together and that's enough. That I don't need to spend hours and hours of superficial time avoiding any deep relationship with "fun" and hordes of people.

How am I going to pull that off? What have I done?


  1. Why the guilt trip on yourself? I do that stuff all the time. You simply state that your daughter and her friend have had the morning together and she's not going to be able to go to the other gathering. You don't have to give any explanation after that unless the mother asks why. If she does, calmly tell her your daughter prefers more one to one time with her friends and a group stresses her out because your daughter cherishes each of her friends and wants to give them her undivided attention when she's with them. No need to tell the mother that the girls have drifted apart. If the friendship is meant to be it will be. If not, let it drift. It isn't a judgement on you, Bonnie. It's just the nature of things. Don't be so hard on yourself. Things will work out for the best I am sure :)

  2. Thank you Wendy. It did work itself out. In fact, it was the girls (both 8) that had the maturity to talk it through, let their feeling be known, and come up with a plan. They are real friends. I was awed. I don't think I'm as mature at 43 as my daughter is at 8. I'm so proud of her.
    Thanks again, Wendy.