I have 12 friends and acquaintances having a baby between September and May; 10 of which are boys. A number of them are sorority sisters of mine, and we all joke about the AOII curse: you will have a boy first. Then maybe a girl. But most likely another boy.
Sunday I helped host a baby shower for my "little sister" in the sorority. I got really lucky with my "littles"; both are women that I admire, wish I could be a little like, and grow more fond of every year. I'm grateful to have them in my life.
Sunday evening I was telling an older woman on my Board, who was also in a sorority in the 1940's, that I'm realizing more and more the value of being an AOII. Jane is in her 80's, but that woman is a firecracker who drives a number of initiatives in Bozeman. I want to be her when I grow up.
I told Jane that during the baby shower I recognized the incredible, diverse group of friends I can call on at any time for advice. Women who are professionals with terminal degrees, women who are successful business owners, girls who are already mothers or becoming mothers, and alumni who are older than I am, yet treat me as an equal to call when I have a question about grown up issues.
We're not planning on having a kid for a while yet. But after the death of a sorority sister in September from a baby-related item (postpartum psychosis), I recognized how important it is and will be for me to have a crew of local friends to call on for help, commiseration and advice. I'm grateful for them.
People in Montana make fun of sorority girls. Yeah, sometimes it isn't all fraternity parties and charitable events. It means living with 30-40 other women your age, one of which is guaranteed to be a flat-out biatch. But here's the secret: there will always be a biatch in your life; best to figure out how to deal with them now.
The long term benefits continue to amaze me: close friends who can pick up right where they left off, a small understanding of human tendencies, an appreciation for organization and the support of over 50 women who will help the moment I ask.
Jane understood exactly what I was saying; for her being a Greek woman meant that when she moved with her young family to Wisconsin, California, Washington DC and Bozeman, she could contact their alumnae group and have an instant connection to a place and people in that place. It means, for an elderly woman, having friends to lean on as others pass away, and a connection to who she was as a young woman unfettered by disappointment or burdened by an ailing body.
I'm grateful, too, that being in a sorority gave me the ground work to have such intimate conversations with women two generations older than me. Women who treat me as a friend.