This year, I sent a holiday card to my old friend P. Being a courteous person - we haven't really been in touch these last three years - he sent back an email: moved to the Big City, still working as big-business lawyer, dogs, looking for a house, newly engaged to be married, all is lovely and well.
I don't know if the friendship will stay alive, although I'd like it to, because I don't even know what to say. "I'm still nursing, we renovated the entire house but it's a wreck because we have kids, and I have no idea where I'll be living in a year"? "What on earth do you do all day?" (This question could go both ways.)
And yet, we've stayed in touch through living on different continents, doing widely varied things, living totally different lives. Why is it different now?
Because I'm a housewife, and I feel that my work all day is both desultory and insignificant. I wander around with the kids, I try to entertain one while the other naps, and I make dinner. Occasionally there is applesauce. We live like we're broke, so that we can be financially responsible. (Being an adult is no fun.) Tatoe's deeply inconvenient morning nap prevents me from ever going anywhere. Yes, it will eventually change, but it's been eight months of this now. Plus, it's winter, so I'm depressed and stuck indoors. (It is very cold here and Tatoe is still wee.)
It makes me so sad to feel like I've already lost the substance of this friendship. It makes me even sadder to wonder where the substance of my life went.
(Into the children, no doubt.)