Beth: Shortly after moving in my first grown-up house my roommate invited me to join a soccer group she was organizing at the Salem Commons. I hadn’t played soccer since I was fourteen, but I decided I might as well go with her. I met Marta there.
Marta: The group was pretty casual; we usually threw a couple backpacks on the ground to mark the goals and took a lot of water breaks. Some people had played for years, others were new to the sport. We never kept score. Sometime during that second season, an outgoing Salem State University student from Uganda joined our motley Monday night crew. As a coach and longtime player, he was a strong addition to the group – we all had to up our game a bit!
Beth: Towards the end of the summer, I had the team over for a barbeque, and Hiller brought his lovely wife Madelene…
Marta: …and voila! The Connect Shore friendship was formed.
Madelene: It’s funny–I was the one who saw you guys playing on the Commons and suggested Hiller introduce himself–he was a new immigrant in need of some soccer friends! I never would have thought that some of my best friends here would come from that group as well!
Marta: …Of course, it wasn’t until a few years and babies later that we had the idea to create a group blog. We discovered that we all shared a love of writing and staying connected to our community. This experience has been an amazing way to grow our friendship together.
Madelene: My mother told me that once she started having children, her best friends became a group of other women with similarly-aged children. I’d like to believe that I would still be friends with Beth and Marta even if we didn’t give birth around the same time–but sharing a similar timeline of raising children has certainly helped to maintain the friendship during a time when many of my single, child-free friends have grown more distant. It is wonderful to find like-minded women with whom I can connect; and combining adult conversation with play-dates and child-rearing stories is an added bonus. It has been invaluable to have friends who help me navigate both parenthood and my own professional dreams.
Beth: For me, being involved in Connect Shore has been one more way to creatively engage with ideas and people at a time in life (parenting a small child) when some moms might feel pressure to lose touch with former hobbies. Luckily, having Marta and Madelene around has helped me to stay Connected to the North Shore, as well as to the topics we write about.