I am blessed to have an abundance of quality, life-long friends. What has been tricky since becoming a mother, is the ability to be there for these wonderful people. Multi-tasking skills are pushed to its extremes when trying to hold a decent, adult conversation whilst keeping track of the tears and spills from munchkins in the background.
Amongst all of this, it’s the company of my gal pals that I desperately miss. Trivial conversations about hairstyles, facials, the latest celebrity gossip, updates on love lives…I know it sounds frivolous and silly but it’s a part of my identity that I hope to never let go, no matter how consuming motherhood duties are.
So, you can imagine my surprise and delight when my friend, Sari announced that she was coming to visit us all the way from Hong Kong. We had talked about her coming over for a few months but timing was always an obstacle. In the end, I don’t know if it was my constant persuasion or her growing obsession for “Bondi Rescue” (Yes, that show even reaches the shores of Hong Kong) that finally convinced Sari to set dates to visit us.
During one of our discussions in planning her Sydney itinerary (A trip to the lifeguard shack at Bondi beach to catch a glimpse of “Bisho” was an absolute MUST), Sari had warned me that she was not a big baby person.
“I’m happy to be an extra pair of hands, but I don’t push prams, or any of that manual stuff”, she told me cautiously over Skype.
Despite Sari’s warnings, the unexpected happened. I’m not sure if it was the effects of jet lag or if my twin sons had turned on their charm (which of course, they have inherited from their mother…). But when she walked in the room, there was an instant, mutual attraction. My friend’s aversion to babies seemed to disappear immediately. Before we all knew it, Sari was cooing with the boys and giving them the biggest bear hugs.
The next several days were a complete joy. We even got a little adventurous when the four of us managed a ferry trip to Circular Quay. Sticking to Sari’s earlier no-pram-pushing provisos, I introduced her to the blessed Baby Bjorn baby carrier instead. She strapped it on like a natural and was carrying one of my sons like he was her own.
Having a quick breakfast at the airport on the day of her departure, Sari confided,
“I don’t know whether it’s just that time in my life now, or your babies are just so damn cute…but the past couple of days with you have made me think…maybe I could be a mummy after all.”
My chest swelled up with so much love and affection for my dear friend.
I may have eased Sari into the realities of kid-wrangling. That was a given. Sari gave so much more in return. She had crossed the ocean and a couple of time zones to offer the best thing this stay-at-home mum could wish for: The priceless gift of companionship.