My almost-two-year old son’s best friend is a rat.
He’s funny looking – Ratty, not my progeny -, rather smelly (could be referring to either but still Ratty, irrespective of regular washing) and due to an unfortunate incident with my favourite Clinique lipstick recently, oddly, pinky, stained down one side of his cafe latte coloured fur……but all of this aside, D Man loves him unconditionally.
Whether he saw him 10 minutes ago, or two hours ago, his little, often grubby, face lights up when he sees him and with true, heart exploding love he embraces his friend and kisses his smelly, and possibly soggy snout. He has no expectations of Ratty, just love. Pure and simple.
He doesn’t care where Rat has been, or what he’s been up to, or which of the other furry friends he’s been cavorting with in D Man’s absence – He’s just thrilled to bits at seeing his best friend again.
Perhaps there is something to be learned from the simplicity of this friendship?
The nature of friendship is something I’ve pondered greatly over the last two years since I’ve had D Man and my life has been turned upside down in a brown-banana -smears-and -stinky -nappy- flavoured manner, but it’s also something I’ve discussed at length with others of late.
Friendship appears, at times, to have an almost tidal nature. It waxes and wanes in a luna fashion. We are drawn apart and come back together, sometimes in a crashing wave we’re thrown back together, other times with a gentle surge we’re guided back towards our old friend.
The fact is, lives take different paths and yet sometimes we cling, in my case with the dishpan hands Mrs Palmolive warned us about, to the memory of a friendship that was and grieve it’s passing.
Where once there was Martinis, high heels and lipstick smears at dawn, there is now in it’s stead coffees in a park teeming with children and snippets of broken conversation as you try to gossip whilst keeping one eye on your child as they kamikaze off a jungle gym. Sensible Birkenstocks have replaced the heels and suncream and vegemite smears are the new make-up. I, and my life, have definitely, infinitely changed…..but what about my friends that have not?
Now please don’t get me wrong here, a few of my child free friends have embraced my little stinker as if he’s of their own loins, and slowly, one-by-one many of my old buddies are sprouting babes of their own (I was by no means a young mother but still a trail blazer in this field, if none other). I have found many new fabulous friends within a circle of mamas since ‘the change’ but many single peeps have fallen by the wayside.
Perhaps one day the tide of our friendship will come back in, but I know that ultimately the only thing guaranteed in life is there will be change, and if that change is brought about by little people, who raise their chubby little hands to you, snuggle into your neck and sigh ‘wee wee’, then change should be embraced and casualties will always be remembered fondly, through slightly foggy Martini shaped glasses.