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Mar 27 2014

How Do You Stay Close with Friends Who Don’t Have Kids?

By at 10:10 am

mom-phone

When I was planning to have children, it didn’t occur to me how my relationships with my friends without kids might change. I should have. I had had the experience when I entered a serious relationship and then again when I got married. With friends who hadn’t reached those milestones or didn’t want to, even as they were celebrating with me, there was always the hint of…what’s going to happen to us?

In my fantasy, my world would have my children and my loving husband, my family, my friends and my work. I would have time to spend with each and all of them would be constantly supportive and interested in the children I had and the life I had built.

But, as early as my pregnancy, I could see my fantasy wasn’t going to work out the way I had hoped. My best friend was upfront about my soon-to-be child: she was jealous. She (and then I) realized that this new little person would demand so much of my attention, attention I would normally give to her. Read the rest of this entry →

Feb 26 2014

Facebook “Likes” Are Great, But How Can We Help Children like Colin Make Friends?

By at 11:42 am

colin2

I have been watching the Happy Birthday Colin movement on Facebook for the past couple of weeks. I have been both fascinated and touched by the outpouring of compassion and generosity that seemingly millions of strangers have expressed towards Colin, a boy with special needs who has trouble making friends. After Colin told his mom not to bother with a birthday party since he doesn’t have any friends, his mother, feeling awful, took to social media, built a Facebook page for his birthday, and shared it, hoping some messages would help to lift the boy’s spirits on his birthday.

The thing has gone completely viral; more than 2 million people have liked the page and offered messages. Based on the photos that Colin’s mother posts every few days of them picking up what looks like carloads of birthday cards and gifts that are arriving at Colin’s PO Box, it looks like Colin will have the surprise of a lifetime on his birthday (and he will probably be opening cards every day until his next birthday from the looks of it).

It’s really been great to see that people recognize the need to make every kid feel good on their birthday and to reach out to this boy. Read the rest of this entry →

Jan 8 2014

Tell Your Friends #WhatILikeAboutYou

By at 10:03 am

tell a friend #whatilikeaboutyou

“Let’s start 2014 with happiness. If you ‘like’ this, I’ll write something that I find beautiful about you!”

I saw a status message in this vein on a friend’s Facebook page. I clicked “like”–more to convey that I “liked” that she was doing such a nice thing, rather than “like” as in, “Send me a compliment ASAP.”

Perhaps fortunately, Facebook’s “likes” are not so nuanced. So I got a compliment from her. It made me feel warm, fuzzy, and appreciated. And so I decided, you know what? I’ll do this too.

I posted this as my status message. The “likes” started pouring in. And whether they “liked” it because of my intention or because they wanted to see what I’d say about them, I decided I was going to write something for each one of them.

I won’t lie–it was time-consuming. I wrote on my phone with one finger as I put my 14-month-old down for her nap. I wrote between dot painting projects with my 2-year-old. I wrote in the glider, the baby asleep on my lap. I wrote in the carpool pickup line (car in park, don’t worry). Read the rest of this entry →

Oct 16 2013

Three Things NOT to Say to Someone Going Through a Divorce

By at 12:07 pm

shoes

Our twin boys recently started wearing their first pair of lace-up sneakers. Unfortunately, I have yet to find time to teach them to tie the shoes. As a result, one son came home from daycare with six knots in his right shoe. I know this because it took a painfully long time, with my stubby fingernails, to undo each knot. When I asked him what happened he replied, “Jenny is the only friend in class who knows how to tie shoes. She was trying to help me.”

Our son reminds me almost daily that he is going to marry Jenny. I can clearly visualize the two children seated side by side on the floor with Jenny happily showing our son how to “tie” his shoes. With that image in mind, I began to consider how many people I have interacted with recently, since I made my divorce public (Facebook public, that is), who also wanted to help, but inadvertently pulled a Jenny and put knots in my laces. Read the rest of this entry →

Aug 22 2013

A Letter to All the Pregnant Women in My Life

By at 3:51 pm

pregnant woman holding belllyIt’s not you, it’s me.

I’m not like your high school boyfriend who heard that phrase in a romantic comedy and repeated it to you just days before taking your best friend to prom. I really mean it. Everything is me. You are wonderful. You are careful with me. You are kind.

I sit, every minute of every day, with the knowledge that I may not be able to have a family, and that even if I am able to have a family through adoption, I may not ever be pregnant, carry a pregnancy to term, give birth, glow, hurt, heal. There are moments, brief and beautiful moments, when I am so in love with my life that I forget about infertility and I feel actual joy. Those moments never happen around you. I can’t forget around you. Back when I had hope, I could find excitement in your growing belly and happy plans. Now, I just don’t know how to. Read the rest of this entry →

Aug 16 2013

Friday Night: A Love Letter to My Old Friends

By at 12:04 pm
adina kay-gross love letter to my old friends

Yep, that’s me on the right.

When you become a new mother, you spend a lot of time talking about making mom friends. I’ve written about it, as have countless others. We’ve thought it about it honestly, earnestly, and some times desperately. It’s as awkward as dating, it’s a necessary evil, and sometimes, in lucky circumstances, lifelong relationships are formed, relationships that can save us.

But when we become new mothers, we don’t often talk about old friends.

These are the friends who are very well having children in step with you, friends who remember when you, yourself, were a child. Friends who know your parents and know your siblings and slept on the floor in your childhood bedroom and slept on the floor in your college dorm room and saw you with the hair-sprayed bangs and the bad skin and the skinned knees and the broken heart. Read the rest of this entry →

Aug 1 2013

I Left My Kids for the First Time Ever & Didn’t Feel Guilty

By at 2:11 pm

tova ross reunionWhat happens when a neurotic and overprotective 27-year-old mom of two leaves her kids–for the first time ever–for a weekend with the girls?

Well, now that I asked, I actually had a lot of fun, thank you. So much fun that when my baby snubbed me in public upon our big reunion, I wondered if, crazily, she suspected how much fun I had and begrudged me for it.

I admit it: when I received an invite to my good friend’s bachelorette party weekend at a beach house, I was more excited than nervous about spending over two days away from my kids for the first time ever. I had been feeling a particular sense of ennui lately from the seemingly endless household chores and parenting tasks that must get done despite long days at work. The invitation seemed like a godsend. Read the rest of this entry →

May 9 2013

Can Moms & Dads Be “Just Friends?”

By at 9:54 am

mom and dad getting coffeeWe talk a lot here at Kveller about mom friends. Where to find them, how to make them, the care and feeding of… The ritual of proper playground hook-up etiquette has become a mating dance of its own, with questions of when to call, what it means when they don’t call back, and the fear of coming off as seeming too needy.

But, the reality is that, in the year 2013, odds are that the parent you end up hitting it off with by the sandbox, the one you begin looking forward to seeing to help break up the monotony of your day, the one you start fantasizing about asking out for coffee without the kids so you guys can really talk and maybe become real friends with–sans sandbox–could well be not a fellow mom, but a dad. Read the rest of this entry →

May 1 2013

How to Announce Your Fifth Pregnancy When Your Friends are Still Trying for One

By at 2:23 pm

number five blockTen years ago, just before I turned 30, I left my nuchal appointment for my first child, went straight to my work computer, and quickly banged out an “I’m Going To Be A Mother!” email to send to my 5,000 closest friends.

Few of my friends back then were married, let alone having kids. I was a pioneer (I later went on to become a pioneer among my peers in divorce, of course), and an oblivious one. It didn’t occur to me that other people’s reaction to my news could possibly be anything but happiness (mildly uncomprehending happiness, perhaps, but happiness nonetheless). Read the rest of this entry →

Apr 25 2013

A Man Named Justin, a Pony Named Besty & an Important Lesson Learned

By at 2:16 pm

young girl on pony rideLast Sunday, I learned a very important lesson while attending an event with my 4-year-old daughter, Adi.

At the event there were many engaging activities for children, including a pet farm, bouncing houses, a mini carousel, and face-painting. Adi lit up when she saw all her options and was especially eager to get a unicorn painted on her face. My focus, like many parents there I’m sure, was simply to let my child have fun with her friends, mingle with the other parents there, and enjoy the warm sunny beautiful day outside. Read the rest of this entry →

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