You know the friendships you make when your kids are babies, but you only see each other for birthday parties because you no longer live near one another, or your kids go to different schools, or you attended a music class together that you only enrolled in once?
The friends who you keep inviting to birthday parties because you like them, and then they invite you, because they like you, and every year you promise to be better about keeping in touch, and then another year rolls by, and you still only see each other at birthday parties.
When your kids are little it doesn’t matter. They all just parallel play any way, and it’s really for the grown ups to get together, snack and drink beer on a Sunday while they watch the babies all roll around on the lawn.
But, then the kids get big.
“Who’s Jimmy?” Tizzy asks, when I tell him we’re going to Jimmy’s birthday party on Saturday morning.
You guys played together when you were babies. You’ll recognize him when you see him.
When we get to Jimmy’s party, Jimmy’s playing with all his school buddies. They form a cloud around him as they travel around the yard. Neither of my boys are formerly introduced, but they make themselves at home picking cherries, playing with the remote control trucks and teasing the dog.
Later, when we talk about what a great party it was, Tizzy looks up at me again, and says, “So, who’s Jimmy?” He still doesn’t know.
After whacking his piñata, Jimmy removed the blindfold from his face, and standing right in front of him, were Zip and Tizzy. For a moment, he had a look on his face that screamed, “Who the hell are these two kids, and what are they doing at my party?!” But, then, he shrugged and handed Zip the bat.