I got an email from a friend of mine. She has like 4 kids and was telling me about how things were going with her.
She lives in England and I see her every few years and every time we do get together she has another child with her. There was this moment in time when her first son was born and my son was born, and it was at almost the same moment in time, that we both had this tremendous connection with one another all around our mutual NEW experiences. Well she's gone on to have a giant family, at least by my standards, and we still have tons to talk about because we go back so many years, but it really has created something of a divide between us. She has been so busy. And I can't really get away with complaining about how much work is, having a kid, to her, now can I? Well that just takes away half of what I usually have to talk about.
ANyway, I was reminded of the last time that I saw her. I went over to England because I had a show over there. After I finished with the exhibition I took a train up North to where she lived, in Wolverhampton. It was fun and crazy to see her, there were at the time 3 kids running around, all under 6. And we had a wonderful time eating dinner and having drinks and the kiddies finally went to bed and we all stayed up late and drank more and looked at her husband's excellent collection of art films and videos... The next morning she had to run off and get 2 of the kids off to two different schools and I sat there with my hangover and encouraged her and tried to stay out of the way. So suddenly she said to me, "Would you watch Robyn, while I get the other boys off to school?" Of course I said yes, but the truth was I had not been near an infant in diapers in years. I wasn't sure what you were supposed to do anymore. SO the 3 of them left the 2 of us at the house and the little baby sat there in his little diaper and with in seconds of the door slamming, he proceeded to unload a mammoth load into his diaper that literally made him, sitting there on his ass, two inches taller.
Well, of course I pretended not to notice even though my eyes were getting teary from the stench. And an hour or so later, when my friend got home I pretended that this all must have just happened seconds ago.
I don't think that all of this makes me a terrible friend, maybe I should have rolled up my sleeves and helped her out. But the truth is that this was no real inditement on what kind of friend I am or am not. I probably pulled the same shit with my own son and my wife way back when when he was still in diapers. No. I am a really good friend. I am just maybe a shitty father.