Oh, how friendships evolve as we age. Every last teenager swears their high school friends will be their ride-or-die buddies forever, but life just happens. You move, you find a partner, you have kids, you throw yourself into your career. Before you know it, your friends are your colleagues and the other parents who have kids the same age as your own. Instead of trips to Vegas, you’re taking breastfeeding classes together. Long gone are the days of shoe shopping, those are replaced with Target runs with members of your new crew (thank goodness your Austlen ride has the cup-holder accessory for your venti iced macchiato and plenty of storage for carting around all the things you didn’t know you needed). Here’s who’s strolling the aisles with you.
Ms. MDC (she doesn’t go by Mrs., she has her own identity, okay?!) has a color-coded activity planner for every member of the family, your own family included. Weird, but incredibly convenient. It’s sent to you monthly via the cloud or DropBox or something, and she assures you it’s also been backed up to an external hard drive. Mr. MDC nonchalantly presented each three-year-old a hand-carved ballerina sculpture for a trophy after the spring recital. Seriously, who has that kind of time?
Mr. and Mrs. Smith
They stayed cool. They parent cool. They’d never use the word cool, which is why they still are. Their infant has nicer Ray-Bans than you, and you’re almost certain little Sophie came out of the womb in head-to-toe Ralph Lauren. You’re stressing about their infant’s first birthday already because what do you get the kid that had the Range Rover Power Wheel before his first bite of food? BEFORE FOOD!
They recycle and they used their recycled material to build a home compost system. They took money from their 401K to install solar panels on their roof. GMO/gluten-filled/non-organic toxic sludge has never touched the lips of anyone who lives in their house, except that one time at your daughter’s second birthday when you accidentally gave baby Barley a finger full of icing. (Side note: Their baby’s name is really Barley…and they hate gluten?)
You can’t recall exactly how many times you’ve heard Mrs. Has-Been say, “If he hadn’t blown out his shoulder…” You probably mouthed the statement along with her at last week’s T-ball game so, suffice it to say, you’ve heard it enough. They’ve been madly in love since high school prom, they’re football captain and cheerleader (does a truer love exist?), and after a few drinks at any co-ed baby shower you attend, Mr. Has-Been will always be willing to bet he can still beat “any of you” in a forty.
As the saying goes – it takes a village. That village is not limited to blood relatives, it’s an actual village, full of the diverse characters in your entourage. The Greens are always in your mind, reminding you to actually cook dinner instead of ordering your third pizza this week. The MDCs will undoubtedly have sunscreen and bottled water in an ‘emergency beach kit’ nestled safely in the back of their mini-van when you decide to take a spontaneous trip to the least-shaded park in America on the hottest date recorded in the last decade. The Has-Beens are so set on their child becoming the next LeBron that your kids will learn how to pick-and-roll just by being in their presence. And Mr. and Mrs. Smith will surely let you know when it’s not okay to show up in fuzzy socks and sliders. They’ll also realize your need for a break in this instance and offer to redeem their Hilton rewards for you to have a night of relaxation. Sure, they’re taking your toddlers to the newest Bond film and you’re not sure if that’s appropriate, but you’re already swaddled in hotel bedding while you await a cheeseburger from room service, so you’ll convince yourself it won’t be too scarring.
As much as you may feel your entourage is more like the group from the Island of Misfit Toys, you unquestionably give off a sense of togetherness to the other parents at the playground.
More importantly, they’ll keep you sane and remind you that you’re not alone on this journey. They’ll lend you a hand so you can use yours to clean bottles, to pack the diaper bag, to tickle your baby’s little belly, and you’ll do the same for them.
You’ll spend at the least the next five NYE and Cinco de Mayo celebrations together in one of your living room while the next generation sleeps upstairs. You’ll debate politics, recommend movies, run 5Ks, try crazy diets, binge-watch full seasons of TV shows, tour preschools, steal a diaper in a diaper blow-out emergency, and scream bloody murder at the referees during the Super Bowl together. The kids will collectively decide you’re all a little bit nuts as they grow, but you know the truth.
Your entourage, it’s #squadgoals for life.
Parent Co. partnered with Austlen Baby Co. because good times are all about who you roll with.