In the spring of 2005, all of my friends started getting married. Prior to that I had been to two friend weddings. Since then I've gone to nine (including my own) and missed at least four. I anticipate being invited to three weddings this year alone.
It's funny being in a mental space where marriage is the norm. Up until five years ago, I'd had serious doubts about my ability to find someone I would want to marry. That's probably because I was living in Ann Arbor, which is a horrible, horrible place for dating when you are in your late twenties or older. It seemed like every guy in my age group who wasn't a grad student (generally speaking, a pretty insular crowd) was a drunk, or both. I'd gone on some dumb dates and been in even dumber relationships. On the eve of my thirties, I was losing heart, fast. But then I started noticing the things I liked about my married friends' relationships, which helped me figure out what I wanted. At the same time, I also realized that most of the couples I knew had met each other through friends. And just as if my prayers had been answered, my friend T reintroduced me to his then single friend Dan (incidentally, T is one of my friends who is getting married this year).
It's as if marriage is contagious among my friends. Now there's a new contagion - babies. In the beginning of 2009, I had no friends with babies. Then last summer, we spent a couple of days in the company of a very charming couple and their newborn baby, who I will call Charlie. Until then, I didn't know Charlie's mom and dad so well (dad's grandma and Dan's grandma are best friends) but they made a big impression on me. They're both such thoroughly mature and hardy individuals, and they're only in their early twenties. Charlie, their robust offspring, showed great spirit and muscular ability. He was already rolling himself over at less than four months. Knowing so little about him or his parents, it was obvious to me that he had inherited their mettle. That fascinated me. The prospect of watching him age was so exciting. I think that was the first time I sensed the raw adventure of parenthood.
And now, at the beginning of 2010, I have three sets of friends who are having babies, including an adoption by one couple and twins for another! Helping my expectant friends is a major part of my itinerary for the next several months and honestly, I'm completely thrilled. I've never been a particularly altruistic person, but I'm genuinely excited to become a good baby assistant. I also appreciate the opportunity to get a little new mom training. After all, it won't be so long before Dan and I start trying for a little Rosebot of our own.