There used to be a time when I came home after being around you and whined that I couldn’t relate because we just weren’t in the same “season.” There were many days where I sat surrounded by stinky diapers and dirty dishes and resented your youth and your adventures and your seemingly carefree existence. I warned you about the changes that would come with marriage and children. I pleaded with you to milk that single, kid-less life for all it was worth. Because while I agreed that I had a good run by getting married at the ripe old age of 27, I was still sometimes jealous of your quiet house and your independent schedule.
Now, several years into this parenting gig, I just want to say, “Thank you.”
I’m not comparing anymore. We’re far past that, and truly, there’s no turning back for me now.
I am still urging you to live fully and bask in this season you’re in, but I’m not warning you with quite the amount of desperation I had before. Simply letting you know…your season is precious. Milk it.
No…in fact, non-mom friends (of the millennial persuasion particularly), I’m falling more and more in love with our friendship each day. I love the youthful excitement you add to a conversation, untainted by the drab disillusionment that growing up can sometimes bring. I love the whole culture that you live in, where I feel like I’m learning a new language just by talking to you. I shake my head in wonder at your choices and your decisions, that to you are so very, very big, and to me are so very, very…different.
I do occasionally ask myself what I’ve done with my life when you walk across the stage with a Master’s Degree or pay cash for your very first house or take a two-week camping trip… But not because I’m jealous, I just think you are something special.
So thank you, non-mom millennial friends. You make me feel young again, while simultaneously making me feel old. You love my kids like the cool big sister that they’ll never have. You talk to me like a human being whose knowledge runs deeper than just being able to decipher the correct dosage on a Children’s Motrin. You expand our conversations to things that matter beyond the latest toy craze or the parenting trials of the week. You invite me into a world that isn’t restricted to an 8 o’clock bedtime, and you keep inviting even when I have to say “no” almost every time.
You’ve inspired me to turn off the Kidz Bop and listen to my heart. You remind me who I was many years ago and you give me the green light to be that person again. Just slightly older…and with kids.
I was envious of you once, but I realize now that I need you. You help me see parenting from a different angle. You make me smile and laugh and cry in a new way. You make me thankful for where I’ve been and hopeful for what’s to come. But most of all, you make me appreciate who I am right now…and that is truly a gift.
(for Kendal, Joanna, and Katherine)