The Good Old Days

In the early days of motherhood, I just did not believe that motherhood would be anything but exhaustingly difficult. The days were hard and long and I just couldn't see past them. But quite suddenly I am standing here, saying goodbye to good friends as we all move on to other things and I realize that a sweet, hard, and beautiful season is coming to an end. So many good friends have moved away in the last year, and here I stand at another goodbye party saying "bon voyage!" realizing that I am not only saying goodbye to a good friend, but also to a really sweet season.

I expected these things to happen in high school and even college. We all knew that we would learn together, go through hard things, and then branch out across the country - each pursuing our own dreams.

But I didn’t expect this from the comrades that I met when I was in the thick of early motherhood. We were all exhausted - desperately trying to make it through each day with “play dates” and the very occasional girls night out. We talked about how hard it was to find babysitters for dates nights. A few of us discovered that despite all our efforts, we had children born with life-changing disorders and we held each other's hands as we navigated “new-normals” and broke down stereotypes for one another. 

We gave each other voices and support and pulled each other up from the depths. We reminded each other that there is a lifeline and learned to show our very unkept selves to one another. 

And then, in a flash, I realize that this exhaustingly hard and sweet season is coming to a close. My friend is moving away and this beautiful, growing time is closing and it is now time to step into a new journey. The journey of school and soccer games, of helping our children navigate first loves and college applications. This season of motherhood is difficult, no doubt, but in a new and different way. And I KNOW that those friends that showed up when I was in the trenches in those early days, the ones who reminded me that I have a voice, that I can be brave, the ones that handed me a lifeline when I believed that I just could not do another sleepless night - THOSE friends will forever hold a special place in my heart. Without them, I may not have had the guts to gather my weary soul, put on my big girl pants, and face another day.

So thank you fellow comrades for weathering the battle. Thank you for being there in the raw and bittersweet times. As Andy Bernard famously said, “I wish that there was a way to know that you were in the good old days, when you are in them.” Man, those were the good old days.

Jennie Heideman