So the other day when I ran into you at Target, you said you miss hanging out with me. That we should go out for dinner or drinks sometime. I know we never really talked about what happened between us, the way our relationship just kind of fizzled out.
Because here’s the thing. It didn’t fizzle out. I put it out. On purpose.
When the kids were little, we used to have play dates all the time. But then something happened. Your kid started to misbehave. Don’t get me wrong, I know kids misbehave all the time. Totally normal. Some of them have high energy. Some of them have special needs. And some of them are just pushing the boundaries to see what they can get away with. They’re kids. That’s what they do. But it got to the point that your kid was constantly doing bad shit in front of my kid, and sometimes to my kid. And you never did a thing.
You and I would have these lovely, fun, awesome conversations, but that was the problem. You kept having lovely, fun, awesome conversations while your kid was chucking hard toys across the room, or peeing in the corner, or pulling every book off the bookshelf, or swinging that baseball bat at the height of everyone’s heads.
And even though it might have seemed like I was enjoying our conversations, really, I was watching your kid out of the corner of my eye the whole time, scared of what he might do next. And I couldn’t say something because his very own parent was sitting right there. Doing nothing.
At first, it seemed okay as long as I was there to keep an eye on it. But as time went by and the kids got older, the baby gates came down and they could move around the house more freely. And I couldn’t see what was going on in the next room or upstairs. And I had to jump up every time there was a loud bang, or crash, or scream.
And now I feel bad. I think you might think we stopped being friends because your kid was a little rambunctious. But that’s not why.
I DIDN’T stop being friends with you over how your kid behaved. I stopped being friends with you over how YOU behaved when your kid acted like that.
Our breakup wasn’t about what your kid did. It was about what you DIDN’T do.
Should I have told you what was wrong back then? Probably. But it’s hard to tell another parent how to parent. Especially when you’re floundering as a young parent yourself. And sometimes slowly stepping away is just easier. So that’s what I did.
I’m sorry. I wish I could have done more, and I wish you would have done more. Maybe now that our kids are older, we can leave them at home and go out to have one of those lovely, fun, awesome conversations without them.
A mom who feels bad even though I had good reasons
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