I hope you can wait for me as I raise my children. I need to put 80% of my life including my friendships on hiatus, so I can focus on these little humans who depend on me so much right now for their survival (I kid you not).
Know that I miss you. I miss our times together before I became a mom. I miss our out-of-town trips, our movie dates, and our endless conversations and adventures together.
I miss our long walks and daydreaming about the future. I smile when I remember the things we used to do and say. Those beautiful memories with your help get me through my toughest parenting days.
How I wish I can be the same shoulder to cry on when you need it. How I wish I can be there physically to comfort you when you’re down. I don’t know how many of YOUR milestones I’ve missed or how many heartaches you didn’t bother telling me because you knew I was crazy busy with my children.
Know, however, that while I’m neck deep in parenting responsibilities and have a million things on my plate, I have never stopped caring about you. I have never stopped looking back at our wonderful friendship. I have never stopped wanting and wishing the best for you. I have never stopped hoping someday soon I can be there for you just like how I was before. They say everlasting friends don’t care if you lose contact even for years because they know that friendship is forever, that life happens, that people get busy, but friendship never dies. And the next time everlasting friends meet, they pick up where they left off. I hope our friendship will be that kind of forever.
One day, I’ll have more time to be the friend I once was, I'll be the type of friend you can drag anywhere when you’re bored on weekends. The one who’ll listen to your heartache and frustrations for hours on end. The type of friend you can talk into backpacking and surfing with you, who’ll drop everything and be there with you in a heartbeat when times get tough.
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When my kids have grown and they don’t need me as much, I promise to be that friend again.
I hope you won’t stop. I hope you won’t get tired of sending me endless invites, even when I keep turning them down because my eldest is sick, I have a PTA meeting to go to, or my youngest is covered in hives.
I hope you won’t stop wanting to see me. I hope you won’t stop trying to reach out and finding a way to meet up with me even when at times (okay, more often than not) I flake. I hope you won’t stop checking on me, asking about my children or my life even though what I do now is so boring compared to our adventures before.
I hope you won’t stop sharing your stories with me, even though I get distracted every five minutes. I hope you won’t stop trying to have a decent conversation, although I know it's hard. You can barely hear me with the kids’ noise in the background and I talk like a kid with tourettes, randomly screaming, “Get off the table” in the middle of my sentences.
Someday I will be the same old friend, often available, with many time in her hands to listen, talk, travel, and laugh. When my kids have grown and don’t need me as much, I’ll be that friend again.
This essay first appeared on Loraine Balita-Centeno's blog mommyfied.ph. Loraine was a full-time faculty member of De La Salle University (Manila) where she also served as director of the Student Media Office. She gave it up to work from home, writing and editing for various publications in the Philippines and abroad, with a toddler clamped around one leg and a preschooler asking her questions every five minutes.