In Her Words
Losing My Very Best Mom Friend
I found my mom friend soul mate, and then she moved away
-Candace Cavanaugh Buehner
Fate led me to JCPenney that day. It was local; I had a coupon; I had a 6-month-old son who wasn’t getting any younger while he waited for photo documentation of his cherub cheeks. But that day, along with an overpriced picture package, I found my very Best Mom Friend.
She was there with her own 6-month-old boy. Within the first 10 minutes, we learned that we were both working moms with professional degrees that we would be paying for until we were 85. We also confirmed far more important details, like: a) our wagon-ride proximity to each other; b) our working-mother guilt feelings; c) our new-mother “WHO would possibly leave me in charge of this CHILD?” worries; d) our love of beer; and finally, e) our respective ownership of pugs (weird).
Thus began our friendship. Four years and three additional children later (one mine, two hers – she’s an overachiever), we carved out what I realize now was a relationship unlike any that I will ever again experience. While our kids played together (and fought, poked and smacked), we shared wine (during nonpregnant months only) and tasty treats (hastily store-bought at my house versus cooked from scratch using fancy Williams-Sonoma cookbooks and frosting not from a can at hers), along with myriad mother- and wife- and career- and finance- and life-related thoughts. Our husbands even got along, leading to get-togethers that weren’t tainted by the unmistakable “when is this going to be OVER?” looks. The occasional bloody toy incident aside (most of which did not involve parents), the entire crew of children and adults had true fun.
Then, this summer, she MOVED. Across the COUNTRY. And although I did inherit a very cute Pottery Barn nursery rug in the process, I lost my best friend.
Months later, we have both auditioned potential Best Mom Friend replacements, but no one quite measures up. You lose best friends every week when you’re 12, but somehow it’s harder now, when new compatible buddies don’t exactly come by every day. I think that the uniqueness of good “Mom Friendship” comes from the memory and perspective that is borne from sharing a short but extremely significant period in life with another person who is dealing with the same issues – and who is NOT your spouse. Finding a person that you can relate to – and share a $10 (or less) pinot grigio with while the kids are running around screaming – is truly rare. So, thank goodness for free long-distance calls, and if you’re lucky enough to have YOUR Best Mom Friend a wagon ride away, appreciate what you have – and take a chilled bottle of wine over to her right now.
Candace Cavanaugh Buehner lives and works outside of Detroit, MI, and her Best Mom Friend, Amy, is the coolest newcomer to the Spokane, WA, area. Plus, she makes KILLER apple bread (Amy, not Candace – never ever Candace).