The way my husband talks about his Army buddies you’d think they live around the corner and he sees them every day. The truth is he hasn’t seen many of them in over 5 years, and only talks with them every few months. I haven’t questioned him about how he feels so close to them when to an average person it appears that they hardly know each other because I know that it’s just different. Going through deployments with people who literally have your back (and you have theirs!) makes bonds between people a different kind than your average friendship. Literally facing death with another person puts you at a whole different level.
That being said, while I wouldn’t dream of comparing and contrasting parenthood with a lovely deployment in Iraq, I understand the concept of needing someone when times are tough, and having your friendship shaped by those tough times.
There’s something to be said about having a best friend that is down there with you. Deep in those trenches of sleepless nights, tears, frustrations, and body fluids. They understand you, they have your back, and even though they probably don’t know what the heck the answer is either, they share in the search with you.
I rarely even get to see my best friend. She lives 10 hours away and we have 6 kids between the two of us. But when we do get to see each other, it melds seamlessly into laughter and butt wiping like there hasn’t been any time passing at all. She’s my person. We always joke that we’d be happiest living in a commune being sister wives and just throwing all our kids together and forgetting about who belongs to who. We’ve gotten so good at reading each other that I can tell when she’s irritated purely by the way her punctuation is in her text messages. She just had her 4th baby, sweet little Colin, and I just came back from trying to help her get last minute things together before adding another pup to the pack. Everyone else sees the fun baby stuff, the cute newborn, the perfect Facebook pictures. But we know better. We know the nitty gritty of each other’s lives. We know that just before the nice picture, someone pooped on the driveway. That one of us was crying the night before. That our appliances are all breaking down at once and we’re going broke. That work is killing one of us. That we both have huge wishes and dreams but only a miniscule of a moment and pennies to try to achieve them. We know the real deal. And not only do we love each other in spite of them, we love each other because of them.
Every parent needs a person. I think sometimes that person doesn’t show up when you think they will, but this whole parenting gig is so much more emotionally stable when you have a person. And for every person out there who doesn’t have that friend, there’s probably also someone out there who doesn’t and is looking. I bet if someone up and made a “I’m 4 Cups of Coffee Deep, My Kid Just Bit Me and Peed on the Cat, I’m Exactly 203 Minutes Late for A Dentist Appointment, and I Just Wish I Had Someone to Commiserate With!” website, similar to a dating platform, they’d totally be on to something. Make yourself a profile and find your match. Find your similarities, and what differences balance each other. Christine and I are like the Yin and Yang of vomit. She hates it, and it totally doesn’t bother me. Perfect balance!! I’ll take the puke, she can take early mornings. Done!
So there is never any question from my husband about how a person I am lucky to see once a year is the topic of so many of my conversations, a big voice in my decisions, and a familiar person to my kids. Sometimes when someone is so entwined in your life, even if in spirit, there isn’t a question. It just is. We’re both fighting the same battle, having each other’s backs, and trying to get everyone out in one piece.
Tell us about your person. Who are they to you, and what makes them a part of you? Is there someone you know that you think could use a person? Maybe it could be you. Reach out!