Friendships come easily to Zachary. He meets a kid on the playground, and although he may not remember his name, Zack will proclaim " I have a new best friend!" after knowing the child for a grand total of five minutes.
I did not raise a shy boy. He will eagerly approach another child (if, and only if he is male mind you), and announce "I am four! Do you want to play with me?". Usually his advances are welcomed and the two buddies will run off together playing some variation of superheros until someone has to leave. The new best friends part ways, likely to never see each other again. Zack will talk about his playmate for a day or two, and then quickly move on to a new one.
Of course there are some friendships that last because of repeated encounters. Within in the first few weeks of arriving in Berkeley Zack met Eli at a playgroup and they were instant best friends. They rarely argue over toys, and have a propensity for taking their clothes off and chasing each other around the house in their underwear. They seem to adore one another.
Zachary recently met Xander when we had a play date at his families house. Xander's mama is a woman I met through a mommy networking group, and I really like her. I hope our grown up friendship will take off as quickly as the Zack & Xander love fest. The two boys are pictured above. They had a grand old time dressing up in customs and fighting the ghosts that apparently live in Xanders attic. Although Zack had a difficult time remembering his new buddy's name, he was clearly taken with Xander, and can't wait to see him again.
If only it could be so easy for adults. I have found that making new girlfriends and couple friends is a lot like...dating. Ugg. You have to slowly warm up to each other, you can't be too timid and you can't come on too strong. You have to make time for new friends, which as a busy working mama is not an easy task. I desperately want to invest in new friendships, but it is hard to squeeze it all in over the weekend. I find myself meeting very nice people, but realizing I have no idea when I will ever have an opportunity to get together with them. It is difficult to form a real friendship when you only see a person every two months. That is, unless you are four.
If you are four friendship comes easily and without expectations. Play dates are orchestrated by parents (aka, social coordinators) and involve no awkward silences. At four kids tend not to judge one another, if you like cars and spiderman, your in, no questions asked.
So to all my new California friends, it has been a pleasure getting to know all of you, and I wish, wish, wish that I could carve out more time for girlfriend dates, more lunches, happy hours and spa trips, but we have what we have. It may take a little longer to get to know one another, but I certainly hope true friendships will form. And heck if you like wine, shopping and gossip-your in with me, no questions asked.