I don’t get out much.
Seeing as how I have four kids, that statement is probably an exercise in the obvious, but it’s true. It’s not that I have children or a spouse keeping me at home against my will. Rather, it is just that I have a lot of responsibilities that require me to choose where I spend my time. As a result, friendships tend to suffer. Not because I care any less for my friends, but if friends take drastically different life paths then it is sometimes hard to stay connected.
For example, it is difficult for someone without kids to imagine spending 30 minutes in an Olive Garden bathroom with a constipated child. Conversely, now that I have young kids, it is hard for me to imagine a vacation that actually sounds relaxing.
Thus, I consider it a true gift to be able to share this stage of life called fatherhood with some long-term friends.
I recently went out with three such friends this past weekend. We graduated high school together and have taken some markedly different paths, but our friendship has evolved to the point of being able to pick up as if we’ve never been apart. And, despite our other classmates’ best guesses, we also managed to reproduce along the way.
Between the four of us, there are twelve children between the ages of 20 years and 3 weeks, so topics are never at a loss, and it is without exaggeration that I give you a sample of our conversation.
Friend No. 1: “My new transmission oil cooler is working great. Do your kids ever get constipated?”
Friend No. 2: “I was wondering how that worked out, the cooler that is. And, yes, one boy’s poop consistently looks like rabbit pellets.”
Friend No. 3: “Are you using synthetic? That reminds me that I just found out my son has been peeing in the kitty litter box for six months…”
Friend No. 4: “Didn’t you find it odd that you were going through 50 lbs of litter a week?”
Through thick and thin, whether recanting moonings and misdemeanors from our time at Gross High or discussing child allergies, our friendship has endured.
And I consider myself blessed to share this stage with these friends.
Our time together may not be often, but it counts.
Chris Donnelly is married with four children. You can read him every Thursday on momaha.com
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