I’m at that age when many of my friends are having kids. I’ve never wanted to be a mom, but I am excited to be an Aunt. It’s important to have kids in my life – youth keeps us young – and so I’m trying to be a good “Aunt Mo” to my friends’ kids. I want to be the kooky awesome aunt who takes them hiking and camping and teaches them how to build a fire, catch salamanders and communicate with dogs.
Last week, I took a mini road trip through rural eastern Virginia to visit my dear friend Mego in Virginia Beach. Meg and I met on the soccer bus in high school and we’ve been friends now for more than half our lives. In many of the ways that count, we couldn’t be more different: Meg is a devoted Navy wife, a mom and a politically conservative Christian and I’m a liberal gypsy Darwinist, but we share deep roots and an abiding mutual respect. I’m lucky to have such a close alliance with somebody whose life is governed by a completely different set of beliefs and priorities and I think Meg feels the same way.
Last time I saw Baby P, he was standing on his own, but not yet walking. Now he’s toddling all over the place! As a Navy baby, P has grown up on the coast, but this trip to First Landing State Park was his first time walking on sand. The kid didn’t quite know what to make of it at first, but once we got him moving towards the water, he didn’t want to stop. Meg scooped him up before he marched right into the waves. Fearless, this one.
Meg, P and I wandered a short distance down the beach, talking and basking in the sunset. P found a pinecone and I found a jellyfish. On our short but baby-steps slow walk back to the car Meg said, “Sorry we didn’t cover the kind of distances you’re used to covering on your walks.” And I shrugged and said, “Time and place.”
People who don’t want to have kids often say they “don’t get it”. I am not one of those people. I do get it. Watching P learn to navigate new terrain and marvel over every little thing in his path was fascinating and refreshing. For about 24 hours. By day two, I was more than ready to get back in my car, roll down the windows, crank the music and drive home to my furry kids. To each her own and may we all prosper!
Check out my last Friends With Kids post: Babes in the Woods. 3 women, 2 babies, 7 dogs, 5 miles… now that’s an adventure!