I was sitting at toddler story time with my daughter, Claire, when I got a text. It was from my high school best friend and was simply a picture of a pregnancy test. Given my experience in this area, I immediately recognized it as a positive one. She wanted confirmation. While trying to avoid the librarian’s disapproving gaze, I texted her back on the sly and confirmed it. I was so excited for this new chapter in her life, and I felt a little emotional sitting there in story time.
So, to my best friend as you become a mom:
I seriously can’t wait.
Throughout middle school and high school, you were always the daredevil to my goody two-shoes. The “let’s just try it” to my “I’m not sure this is such a good idea.” The skinny-dipping, pucker-sipping fun lady of my growing up days.
And you’re having a baby. You will be someone’s mom.
Like many high school friendships, we drifted away from each other a bit during college. I took the traditional, type-A college path, while you moved out west and excelled at more artistic pursuits.
But over these 20 years, we always came back to each other. I felt especially honored when I was one of the first people to know about your pregnancy.
I want you to experience both the joys and the challenges of motherhood. The full experience. Because wishing you anything less than the full experience wouldn’t be what best friends do.
I wish you (a little bit of) morning sickness and a funny barfing story. You will recall this fondly later, and it definitely belongs in the baby book. I’ll never forget my special 40 minutes outside of a steakhouse, and I want you to have a memory like that too. You’re welcome.
I wish you an easy birth. But not so easy that you pull your own baby out Kardashian-style.
I wish you casseroles, fruit salads and English muffins from helpful friends and family. You will live on the kindness of others for at least the first few weeks as you feel your way through early motherhood.
I wish you lots of helpers. Maybe even an over-the-top mother-in-law. You will need this assistance and support when you are completely exhausted and overwhelmed with decisions on breastfeeding, formula, burping, sleeping, and swaddling.
I wish you elderly women at Target. The ones that tell you that your baby is certainly the most adorable baby they’ve seen since their own children. These women will make you appreciate your little one even when you’ve been up all night with a teething, drooling little monster.
I wish you elderly women at the grocery store. The ones that ask if you are sure that baby is warm enough, and give you funny looks for buying formula. These women may be a little rude, but they will build your confidence in your decisions for your child. You will learn that you truly know the situation best, and you will soon be able to dismiss these ladies, as well as the judgmental noise of the rest of the world, and trust your own instincts.
I wish you a good partner in parenting. I know, I know — you already married this awesome guy. Get ready to know him on a whole different level. You will see which one of you will respond to a very awake baby at 4 AM, who will assemble the ridiculous bouncing device on zero sleep, and who will wash the never-ending dishes. These are the times that test your partnership, but I know it will only make you stronger.
I wish you no parenting scoreboard with your husband.
I wish you poopies in the bathtub. Mostly because it’ll be funny when you tell me the story over a glass of wine during one of our soon-to-be-more-rare nights out.
I wish you entire mornings full of Play-Doh, mud and paint. The dirtier your house is at noon, the better mommy you’ve been. That being said, I cannot emphasize the importance of washable crayons, markers and paint. So important.
I wish you single, childless friends. The kind that will indulge in margaritas and pizza then sleepover at your house because your husband has been working like crazy and you can’t get out.
I wish you nights out. These are essential to keeping your sanity. Make sure that some of these nights are date nights just for you and your husband.
I wish you Gymboree, swimming lessons, playgroup, nature center classes, story times and an early childhood PTA. These have been some of my favorite activities as a mom, and they have allowed me to see my daughter interacting with others and exploring her world.
I wish you your own hobbies and interests too. Don’t forget that you love spinning class. Don’t forget that you have an adorable fashion business. Make time to catch a movie with your sister.
Finally, I wish (and hope) that you will call me. Call me at any time. Whether you want advice, a sounding board or just a good laugh, call me and we’ll talk. I can’t wait for you to join me in this incredible stage of life, dear friend. I know you’ll be amazing.