Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Super Friends

I have been very fortunate. My two closest friends live in this city, and for more than two years they have visited me nearly every week for a lunch or dinner. They don't live down the block, either. In fact, it usually takes longer than an hour by subway to get from their home to mine. And, again, they have done this almost every week. Fortunately, their jobs often gave them time off during the week, so they didn't spend their entire lunch break riding here. Still, a visit often consumes most of their day off.

I have mentioned these friends before. Their names are Matt and Mickey. Here's a picture of them (and their lovely wives, Amanda and Bonni) from my birthday party earlier this year:

From what I hear, Matt and Mickey's visits are rather unusual.

"Every week?" another friend of mine said several months ago when I told him about the lunches. "You have to blog about this! It goes against every stereotype about male friendships." Well, not every stereotype: we still talk over a beer about sports, TV and politics, or we complain about current and former jobs. Occasionally, a foul odor will float through the air. And, occasionally, it won't be coming from Kyle. So, really, the meetings themselves are more or less what you'd expect. What is unusual, I hear, is the fact that they have happened so often. I don't know for sure if that's really true... but nevertheless I don't know what I would have done without these visits, especially during the first year of being a stay-at-home dad. The rough days then were very difficult, especially since I was new at it and Kyle couldn't communicate well, and the knowledge that I would have a real adult conversation later in the week kept me going. It's been better recently. I've been able to do a lot more with Kyle, and even though the "terrible twos" are not easy, I no longer feel cooped up in our home, begging for some sort of interaction. Still, I look forward to every visit by Matt or Mickey, as they're a lot of fun, and Kyle has a blast whenever they're here. They're Kyle's best friends, too.

So why did I wait 'til now to take my friend's advice and write about the visits? I really don't know why I didn't do this earlier. I suppose I found it easier to write something silly about Kyle. Even today I am having trouble finding the right words to adequately express just how much these friendships mean to me. I guess you probably have to be a stay-at-home parent to fully comprehend just how amazing it is to have your best buds visit you each week, even for just a couple hours. Friends like Matt and Mickey are valuable beyond measure. I hope other stay-at-home parents have been just as fortunate.

But back to the question of "Why now?" Well, now everything is changing. And I couldn't be happier. Why? Because Matt is now a dad.

Matt's little boy Evan was born on Friday. Jennifer, Kyle, and I went to meet the baby this past weekend, and he's a beautiful child (I'm not posting pictures because this is a public web site, so those who don't know Matt and Amanda will have to take my word. Trust me, he's a good-lookin' kid). We have been so excited about this child. We even kept the month of July open just so we could be around whenever he was born. It was a lot of fun exchanging stories with Matt and Amanda as they prepared for their baby's arrival, and now we can share in the journey of parenting. And there's just something about seeing two of your closest friends with an itty bitty baby of their own that just makes you so happy. I'm smiling thinking about it.

Of course, now that Matt has a little guy of his own, he's not going to be able to make that hour-long trek here each week. Instead, I hope to put Kyle in the car and drive out to visit him as often as I can. Now that Kyle's older, that won't be as difficult as it was before. Besides, it's probably not a good idea to go out to restaurants with Kyle right now, as he often transforms himself into an unruly catapult. I can't get through a meal without worrying that he might knock another customer unconscious with his straw cup. So, grabbing take-out and meeting Matt and Evan at their home might be the safest option. I just hope I can be there for Matt as he was there for me.

Mickey continues to take the slow train out here to see us, and so far he's been fine with that. I still look forward to his visit every week. Just like with Matt, I hope that someday I will be there for Mickey as he's been there for me. And it looks like that "someday" will be soon. Mickey's own child is due to arrive in January.

No comments: