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Bumped out by all the baby bumps

Alison Berkley
Aspen, CO Colorado

I’m at a point in my life when my various friends are falling into two very distinctive camps: Those with kids and those without.

Of course this has been going on for quite some time, but it’s only getting more pronounced, especially as my mommy friends are going for round two.

Let’s put it this way: I’m getting bumped by the baby bump.



Take my friend Samantha. A girl after my own heart, she never hesitates to point out the obvious, call a spade a spade, or say what everyone else is thinking but too afraid to say.

“It’s just what Irish Catholic girls do,” she used to say after an especially big drinking bender.




After her first baby was born, I ran into her at a benefit party. She pulled me aside and said, “Just so you know marriage isn’t so bad, my husband and I just had sex in the broom closet.”

A few weeks later, I saw her walking down the street and she was white as a sheet.

“Irish twins?” I asked. “You’re pregnant again, aren’t you?”

“How’d ya guess?” she replied. “Great. I can’t drink for another whole year. Looking forward to that and getting fat, too!”

“Must have been the broom closet,” I said.

“Hey, what can I say? It’s what Irish girls do,” she replied. “As soon as this next one is born, I want to go out and party with you. I want to go huge, like Britney Spears did with Paris Hilton after she had two kids.”

“You can so be Britney and I will so be Paris,” I said.

So my point is that Samantha’s cool. She’s not one of these moms who seems to get a personality transplant as soon as their little pooping machine is born, reporting on specifics about what was found in the diaper that day and leaky boobs. She seemed to bounce back quickly from both her deliveries, slipping into her skinny jeans and fabulous wardrobe like she’d been nothing more than a little bloated.

However, there are a few things that have changed. Our little Britney and Paris party never happened, of course. Samantha no longer answers her cell phone. She’s big on e-mail, I’m assuming, because it’s the quietest way to communicate during nap time. One day we tried to meet up for coffee, but she never showed. I got an e-mail a day later that said, “We fired the nanny last night. Big drama. I’ll call you later.”

My first thought was, she’s had a nanny all this time?

Look, I get it that I don’t get it. That’s exactly the point.

It doesn’t mean I don’t still love my friends. It means the chasm between our lives continues to broaden, and if anything, it doesn’t reflect so well on me.

Like, I feel really stupid when they ask me how I’m doing or what’s going on in my life and the best I can do is, “I went to Zane’s last night and watched John’s friends play a drinking game where they piled matches on top of a glass and tried to blow them off. The person who can leave only one match behind gets to dare someone else to do whatever they want. Like Dave had to go outside and put his face in the snow!”

That’s when it occurred to me I should probably hang out with kids my own age.

Then I remembered I did just that last Saturday. I went to a quaint little dinner party where a woman my age brought this little pot-smoking machine that allows you to smoke without inhaling too much smoke into your lungs. You plug it into the wall and it has some kind of heating element and this long hose so it looks sort of like something you might see in a hospital, except she’s plastered it with all these bumper stickers. I’m pretty sure she doesn’t have kids.

I mean, maybe we’re just eccentric and bohemian, free spirits. I did get kind of bored listening to them talk about the magic pot machine after about an hour, though.

“I don’t know what else you need to know,” my friend Suzy said on the phone later when I told her the story. “This is part of the problem.”

Suzy is expecting her first baby this June and has known me for 20 years. She’s like a sister to me, the one whose left with the burden of telling me the things I don’t want to hear, like, the truth. She’s watched me suffer through the bad relationships, the disappointments, even the dog from hell. So she’s had a front row seat in terms of watching me stumble and fall only to get up and stumble and fall again and again. You could definitely say she has my best interest at heart.

We have plans to go to Steamboat this weekend to hang out one last time by ourselves before the babies come. Her husband will be out of town and god knows I don’t really have anything keeping me in Aspen at the moment. Unless of course, I want to take my turn on the pot machine at the next party or try blowing matches off an upside down pint glass.

Don’t get me wrong: I like having fun. It’s just that I’m not really having fun anymore. What sounds fun to me is spending the day drawing with the awesome new magic markers I got or spending the day baking a lasagna. It would be fun not to call six people before I find someone to go for a hike with me on a Sunday afternoon.

Maybe instead of letting the baby bump get between my friends and me, I should embrace it. Suzy said she’d teach me how to cook lasagna this weekend and I’m actually looking forward to it.