It is funny how you end up by not altogether choosing your friends, but if you are hurled together with enough of a maelstrom some friendships stick. I am thinking about work colleagues or more specifically 'Mummy Friends'. You know the ones, you go to the same playgroup, same antenatal classes etc.
I joined a great gang on our antenatal classes, but it was only weeks into motherhood the cracks appeared. A relationship ended and one Mum disappeared, and then there were 5. So we bumbled along, meeting randomly. I did my thing and then one of the others joined me in a set of classes. So I saw this other Mum weekly and our little darlings played beautifully together so a friendship developed. This Mum seemed to be the natural leader of our pack, as she wanted to see everybody individually as well as en masse and it seemed to fit with everybody's plans. She was driven and we were laid back.
This particular Mum had become a friend as she was highly entertaining, with real drive and joie to vivre. When motherhood and lack of sleep hit her, I was there with a chocolate cake. When her hubby failed to live up to ideals, I listened. It has been heartbreaking to see her life ebb away. She has aged a decade and the trendy fly away hair cut has been replaced by a severe bob - verging on the pudding bowl; the hair seemed to my a metaphor for her outlook.
Then the last year things started to go a little pear shaped. Around about the time I miscarried things started to unravel. We were planning a joint party and then suddenly all my ideas were inappropriate - I had the audacity to suggest pass the parcel. Then the dagger went in "I don't want to do presents as I will give and receive presents to my real friends" came the comment from the other Mum who I had been seeing weekly.
Of course I was hurt, hormones were raging and the 'mutual' support that I had shown was a little lacking. Every time we met up since there have been strange comments and mildly bazaar behaviour from that very Mum, but I'm secure enough to dismiss or rise about pettiness - besides who knows if any slight was meant. I don't believe in biting back, being nasty is just not my style - I was born with my foot in my mouth so I have to contend with collateral damage without seeking to be cruel.
Fast forward a year and on Tuesday evening we all met up. I thought the evening was going well, we were all chatting. She was included in the conversation, but to be fair she was not the focus. Suddenly she got up, burst into tears and fled. Apparently, she had felt excluded. I have phoned and texted but somehow feel that whatever made her upset was far beyond anything we said or did not.
What is a girl to do? I wish her well, but I don't think that I can help her sort out whatever is going on. Some relationships run their course - and I hope that she can find some one support her through the next stage. I hope that in 10 years time I see her image smiling back out of a magazine, seeing her have found happiness again and achieved her potential. As for me, I will be bimbling along in my own happy world, hoping my happiness can rub off - after all it need not be that hard!