Coming Clean:  It’s not me, it’s you.

Yes, you read that right.  It’s not me, it’s you and I’m ready to come clean.

I had found the greatest friend late in my teenage years.  She got married and had children.  I got married.  Our lives were on the path we had always imagined.  We talked almost daily and got together often.  Then one day, about 5 years ago, I told her we were expecting our first child.  She was over the moon for us.

Coming Clean:  It's not me, it's you.

As friends do, we talked incessantly about my pregnancy.  I was working full-time prior to becoming pregnant.  We talked about whether or not I would go back to work.  Or if my husband would consider staying home.  If we were going to find out the sex of the baby.  And of course, names.

After talking about me returning to work after Maternity Leave {man, 8 weeks sure did go by fast!} and my husband not staying home, we got to talking about child care.  I had told her that we started looking into our options {unfortunately, grandparents weren’t an option because they all still work}.  She gave me pointers as best she could.  She has been a stay-at-home mom since her first was born about eight years ago, so her advice was limited simply because she didn’t have that experience.  

I received a text from her one day asking if I wanted to grab lunch.  We met at our favorite eatery in town and chatted the afternoon away, mainly about childcare.  I talked about some of the Daycare Centers I had come across and my likes and dislikes of them. 

It was at the end of our “mom date” and after listening to me babble forever, that my girlfriend had offered to watch our little tyke!  I was over the moon!  It couldn’t have been more perfect.  I mean, I would need to talk to my husband, but I didn’t see any issues.  We have known her and her family for years!  I knew she was a mama, so she had the experience!  She was literally right around the corner from where I worked, so if need be, I could swing by and see my baby!  And most importantly, she was going to cut us a deal for two reasons:  1)  she was already home during the day with her youngest and 2)  she knew we were looking to get out of our apartment, so she said it would allow us to save more towards that.  Friendship doesn’t get better than that!

We supplied everything our little guy needed while with her, even a base for his car seat so she could go out and about with the kids.  I didn’t even think twice about this.  I trusted her.  After all, she was one of my closest friends and a mama herself. I knew our little guy would be in good hands.

We were nearly in August at this point.  Summer was flying by!  Our baby was growing leaps and bounds!  It was a day like any other during the week.  We got to my girlfriends house, and like I always do, I snuggled on my babe until it was time to leave.  We chatted a bit.  Part of the conversation involved one of their adventures from the previous day.  She was telling me that they had ventured to the city south of us and did some garage sale-ing.  I told her I was totally jealous because I love a good garage!  She was telling me some of the deals that she had found. 

And all of a sudden, I felt it.  It was the sharpest pain I have felt since becoming a mother.  She told me that my little guy was sleeping so soundly that she couldn’t bring herself to wake him up, so she left him in the car with the window cracked while she, her toddler and her mom went garage sale-ing! 

You read that right.  An innocent, eleven-week-old infant was left ALONE, sleeping in a parked car on the side of the road with the window cracked!  I have never had so many “what if” moments come crashing down all at once!  What if my infant had died {extreme, but as a first time mama don’t we tend to think worst?!}  What if someone hit her car?!  What if he was crying and she couldn’t hear him because she was in someone’s driveway?!  What if someone had called the Police?! I almost wish someone had.  WHAT IF?!

I reluctantly left my son that morning with her, and was chastised later that night for doing so.  I was sick to my stomach.  I think I was in shock.  Surely this couldn’t have really happened?

This is where things get sticky.  I am a good-hearted person.  I didn’t want to hurt my friends feelings {I know!} and I honestly wanted to remain friends, but I lied.  I’m not sorry I lied, but since I am coming clean, I need to come completely clean.  I told her that my husband’s aunt was taking some time off from work and had asked if she could watch Junior.  I also told her, knowing that my husbands aunt was getting older, that I wanted to take advantage of the time she and our son could share together.  And I told her this transition would happen come Monday.  I didn’t have the heart to tell her, that at the counsel of my irate husband, mother, father and other family members, she could no longer be trusted with my child.

Coming Clean:  It's not me, it's you.

I worked at our friendship in the months to come.  Seriously worked.  It was hard.  I know it was strenuous on my friend, as well.  We would all still get together like we did before.  Kind of like old times.  But it just wasn’t the same.  We always had good visits and talked away our time together.  There was one time she had even told me that her mom was upset that I wasn’t “letting” her watch my son anymore.  She “defended” me and told her mom she didn’t know why, but it was my choice.  She also told me that friends were questioning my choice of new childcare and didn’t understand why I stopped having her watch him.  I always wanted to tell her what really happened, but never had the courage.  I hope this brings some closure to that time in our lives.  For both of our sakes.

They say that many friendships end needlessly because we’re afraid to acknowledge conflict.  That at some point, friendship is bound to provoke difficult feelings, and if we can accept that, we can talk about things as they come up and there’s a good chance your friendship will become closer.  That was not the case for me.

Sadly, our friendship ended in disaster.  Disaster, because it comes with great loss, uncertainty and grief.  Yes, grief.  I’m losing a dear friend.  A friend that has been a part of my life for 15 years.  It’s a hard choice that I made, but, sometimes friends just aren’t good for us, no matter how hard we try to make it work.

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