I Met Someone Today

I met someone today…it’s not what you think… I’m happily married. I met another mom. I’m at this somewhat ‘last call’ phase of parenting, where I have 3 children down and 1 to go for full-time schooling. In this last year it feels a little like a bucket list mission to use whatever time I’m not working during the day to satisfy that last stretch of “Mommy and Me” time….you know…when we’re not sitting on the couch with our iPads and iPhones.
A toddler comes over to greet my daughter and I at the Lego table in the children’s section of the library. Legos. Legos were never my thing, as can be told by the haphazard way I am constructing whatever it is I am constructing.
I smile at the toddler and as my mom approaches I make a light remark about me not being sure to give her any Legos lest she put one in her mouth. Mom says that luckily she doesn’t do much of that anymore, and I use this as a perfect segway into the story of my daughter swallowing a magnetic marble at my mom’s while I was at home unknowingly watching a neighborhood break in. Because this is what happens when I am forced to small talk to another mom.
Her other daughter is also 4 and begins playing with my 4yo daughter. Soon, I find myself absentmindedly building with Legos on the table and having an actual adult conversation. A nice girl…younger than me…looks like somebody I already know…moved here from out of state…husband’s a pastor. Not the type of friend you’d have a glass of wine with while dishing the last episode of ‘Orange is the New Black’…but a Christian woman who might be a breath of fresh air. I bring up my daughter finally putting earrings back in her ears after a 2 ½ year break…I pause wondering if this is against her religious beliefs..but press on because she seems cool anyways.
I remind myself of my appearance. Freshly showered, but very casual. My dance momesque t-shirt (bra status compromised) and shorts…no make-up…and ‘Let it Go’ Elsa hair offset by this pastor’s wife neatly pulled back hair and cute print dress with sweater. But still I felt an ease of talking that comes from a ‘I’ve been here and done this long enough that I know that your outwardly appearance is just not the end all’…the comfort in one’s own skin that comes from 38 years of ‘paying dues’.
I tell the mom about my family structure, 4 kids, 3 boys aged 13, 10, and 6 and my daughter who’s 4. Her daughter begins to ask her mother for a ‘baby brother’, which I laugh at as I then refer to my daughter as our ‘Grand Finale’ in a way that makes me reek of Cafeteria Catholic…but which is my own personal truth. In all reality sometimes I wish the topic wasn’t so taboo and moms would just wear t-shirts that say “I use birth control…but I don’t think my employer should pay for it” or “I only have one child because of infertility issues” or even “I’d have more kids, but I can hardly function with these two..have you met these two?!”.
We begin talking about her move here, the congregation her husband works for, and I ask questions and show actual interest. I Google the church, we exchange phone numbers, and I tell her that maybe I’ll stop into her church or look into a future Bible study. She mentions a bonfire this Friday, but I stall her with a ‘Whoa Nelly…we just met’ response which really just means that we’re just not at the social stage of our lives where we can bring all 6 family members out to a church bonfire with enough grace any Friday night soon.
After an abrupt separation (her kids down stairs to greener pasture…my kid to the craft table), I catch her on our way out and bid farewell in a ‘Nice to meet you, maybe we’ll see each other again, but no strings attached’ manner and congratulate myself on being more open to being’ in the moment’ a.k.a ‘not being absorbed in my iPhone’. It’s then that I realize that I’m at a good comfortable place in life. I’m slowly getting back to some resemblance to the person I was before I even had kids. I’m starting to read more, take moments to replenish myself, even considering reconnecting with old friends or asking God to bring new people into my life when he sees fit…for however fleeting it may be.

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