The other night I was out to dinner with some of my girlfriends. We were sitting around, having margaritas and gossiping, when suddenly I looked around and realized all but one of us had a 10-ish year-old son.
It’s no coincidence, I suppose. Our sons are classmates and most of them are friends (some of them are very close friends, others less so.) They’ve been at the same school since they were toddlers, they grew up together and we, their mothers, have formed friendships.
But it startled me a bit. There were other women, girls’ mothers, in that class that I like. Years ago I socialized with those moms, but over the years, those friendships remained stagnant, whereas my relationships with the women who had sons deepened.
If our sons, and organizing playdates for them, had brought us together initially, I don’t think that they are the reason that we remained close. When we get together now, relatively little of our time is devoted to talking about our children. Like many friends with school-age children we spend some time chatting about their school, and then move on to our husbands, the latest issue of US Weekly, and yes,even Fifty Shades of Grey.
It’s no surprise that I also have an older daughter and the mothers that I am friends with in her class, all have daughters as well. Again, there are women who have sons in that class, but I am closer to the ones who have daughters.
It makes me wonder: is friendship just that arbitrary? After all, we must have sought each other out, at least initially, based on nothing more than the gender of our children. And maybe we just got lucky that we became such good friends.
But maybe there are friendships that we are foregoing because those women have a child that’s not the same gender as ours and we are just too tired to reach out them.