ColumnThe friend babymoon. A new thing we invented!
I recently spent the weekend in Maine with three of my best friends, one of whom is pregnant.
Without meaning to, we ended up on a friend babymoon. If that’s not a thing already, it should be.
In addition to laughing until I couldn’t breathe at least once a day, this trip afforded the four of us the chance to go to the beach in winter wear, eat tons of bread and walk around various shops in Portland having conversations that went like this:
“Oh my god, oh my god! A baby sailor suit! Does our baby need this?”
Our baby. That’s right.
Luckily, our friend is being very generous. Even though her mom and sisters live close by and will be the go-tos, she is embracing the “it takes a village” attitude by allowing us to assume roles in this kid’s life before she’s even here.
In fact, when she told me she was pregnant, it went like this: “You’re going to be an auntie!” I can’t really explain how totally happy I was at that moment, first for her and then for how she chose to share the big news.
I am fairly sure I jumped up and down, which isn’t a thing I do.
I never really thought about what it would be like when one of my best friends became a mom. I have lots of friends with kids, but this one is different.
I’m not having kids of my own, and, as an only child, I wasn’t guaranteed any nieces or nephews. I got lucky and got one of each when I got married so, this little one will be my third.
She will be the only one who will know me from day one, that I will see on a very regular basis and the only one whose mom I have known since we were four.
Meaning, I will be able to tell her about our misguided attempt to get into the Guinness Book of World Records for roller skating around the block when we were in grade school, how we used to do Mad Libs over the phone and how I used to wake her up way earlier than she liked at sleepovers.
When she’s 12 and thinks her mom is the lamest, worst person on the planet, I will listen and be a safe person for her, while encouraging her to not be a jerk.
When she’s older, I will tell her about how her mom took care of me when, in a state of mess that can best be described as “being 25,” I moved back home to Chicago and lived in her storage room for two weeks.
And if she ever gets drunk at a party and calls me for a ride home, I will praise her responsible choice not to drive or get in a car with someone who has been drinking, drive her to my house and make her drink lots of water. But before I go pick her up, I will call her mom and tell her that her kid is safe and sound.
Then, in the morning, I will wake her up way, way earlier than she’ll like because at sleepovers, that’s what I do.
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Image: “Auntie Heather with Baby Chick” by Sam Ritchie