I have just given up a friendship. I am sad and mad and upset, but mostly I am fine. It was both sudden and not.
This friendship was an important one to me. We met while expecting our babies, who ended up being born on the same day, just a few hours and rooms apart. I had dreams of our kids being lifelong friends.
It's one thing to be friends with other parents of newborns, but trickier once the kids get a little older. Maybe a year ago after I listened to yet another story about the screaming match she got into with her not quite two year old and the nit-picking of her husband's faults*, Tom and I agreed that maybe they are not "our people" after all.
*Not that we haven't all complained about our spouses now and again. These stories often took venting to new levels.
Then there were the two years in a row when they were invited to our house, confirmed, and then ended up at a different friend's home instead. And that other friend? Lived about the same distance from them that we do, only in another direction.
More importantly, there was that call I made to her last year around this time. Struggling and feeling like I was drowning, I turned to her. Told her what I was going through and didn't quite buy it when she said she couldn't hear me well and ended the call. A month later she wrote to apologize and I just let it go without comment.
This friend had a second baby two months ago, a daughter. Some of the stories I heard several weeks back... the last time I called, because I am always the one who calls... reminded me of our own Mad-A-Girl. The independence, the determination. I laughed and said, "Sounds like you've got your own Madelyn!"
Are those bad words?
Because when we spoke today she said her husband was upset that I would say something negative, you know, about his baby.
"But I told him you didn't mean it that way, in a bad way."
"And then there's the fact that there is absolutely nothing wrong with my daughter."
Sometimes in life I have overreacted and/or been too quick to react. It's not a mistake I like to keep making, so I let the conversation end itself naturally (not before listening to how she can't relate to other moms who have a second baby because she's just so darn sure it's worse for her than it is for anyone else. Really?!?).
I spoke with Tom and I spoke with Nancy.
If it were just the stupid comment about my girl, I'd probably attribute it to sleep deprivation and extra hormones. But all in all, I've had enough.
I contemplated writing a lengthy email detailing my exact feelings (this is the Reader's Digest version, in case you were wondering), but instead decided to call her back. I got their answering machine and left a message. I wanted to say that I loved her kids, but I didn't. I just said I couldn't be friends with someone who thought comparing their child to my own was hurtful, upsetting or offensive (all words that were used, can you believe it?) and that I would just enjoy the memories of when I thought we were friends. And that is it.
And it is.
Or it will be once I get over it.