Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A Friendship Glimpsed.

It was a beautiful Monday afternoon. I had just finished eating a picnic lunch with Brian and Tori under a gorgeous maple tree flush with the first lime green leaves of spring. Tori was giggling from her seat in the baby swing, soaring higher and higher as daddy pushed until I found myself pinching the inside of my arm to keep from blurting, "don't you think she's going a little high?"

Then I saw her.

All around her were clusters of moms, laughing and gossiping together as they shared child-minding duties. But she sat alone, looking lonely as her toddler played in the sand at her feet. On her face I saw a reflection of my own painful shyness. My own longing for a mommy friend. I thought about going over and introducing myself, but like the awkward teen I once was, I couldn't quite summon the courage.

Suddenly, Brian noticed the direction of my gaze. "Hey, that's Dianna!"  Scooping a protesting Tori from the swing, he marched over and greeted her loudly. I followed hesitantly, unsure of our welcome.

But her face lit up when she saw us. "Brian!" she exclaimed. "How the heck are you?"

He plunked Tori down in the dirt next to her 13-month-old and the two burgeoning toddlers eyed each other warily. Then they both began sifting through the sand, mimicking each other's motions.

"Look at that. Aren't they cute," I said.

She grinned back at me. "They sure are."

That set off a conversation about our babies' so-called accomplishments, stubbornness in refusing to walk and teething troubles. As the minutes flew by, my imagination took flight.

I imagined play dates where our kids occupied each other while we moaned about the travails of motherhood. I imagined leaving our husbands in charge while we went out to grab a martini - arriving home before bedtime, of course. I imagined having someone I could call at the drop of the hat to reassure me that no, in fact, I wasn't going crazy. I was just another tired mom.

I imagined having a mommy friend.

But eventually Tori started rubbing her eyes, signaling it was time to go.

"Well," she said, "maybe I'll see you around here again."

"Yeah," I said. "I hope so."

But I know I won't. I work. I don't usually get to take Tori to the park on sunny weekday afternoons. I don't get to hang out with other mommies. I'm destined to go it alone.

But that doesn't stop me from wishing things could be different.

12 comments:

  1. It could still happen! You could hang out on the weekends instead of during the weekday. If your hubby knows her, set up a double date. Just do it, ignore that shy teenager.

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  2. Oh, hun!!! I don't work and I'm destined to go it alone too. Being stuck in the damn swamp with no car....yeah right. Like I'll ever make a friend. I know the pain though. The longing. The feeling like a big loser because you don't have that friend.....I feel it too...

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  3. I so relate to this!! Hopefully you'll see her again though. It could happen. Especially if your husband knows her.

    Until then, at least we have blogging buddies, right? :)

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  4. It will happen! I was/am a working mom. School years provide lots of friends through all the evening activities. Hang in there!

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  5. OK, so I am a completely outgoing, not shy at all, talk all the time Chick. I talk to everyone, strike up conversations with Moms at the park, in line at the store and while sipping my Vanilla Latte (yum!) at Starbucks. And STILL only one Mama friend came from all that hard work!!!

    But then I made three FANTASTIC Mama friends without even trying. Just kinda fell into my lap.

    So everyone else is right (for once!). It will happen sometime, when the place and the people are right. I have faith that it will work out. And if not, just screw 'em all and come visit me in AZ. I'm always up for a girls night!!

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  6. You can do it, Amber! (This is Brittany from Notes From the Grove, btw. I started a new blog.) I think next time, you should just take one more step and give her your cell. Or tell her to find you on Facebook or something. It's scary, but think of the rewards!

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  7. I think you guys could still hang out! I know it's difficult to make Mommy friends though.

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  8. My friend was a a FT working mom... she and the other daycare moms formed their own group. You can still do it.

    And really, I think the whole Mommy Group thing can be overrated... eventually, it would get catty, you would hate it and long for your own desk with 4 walls.

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  9. Making friends is so hard when you're an adult, especially when you're trying to balance family and work and everything that's on your plate. But you never know! Maybe you'll see her again at the park on a weekend.

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  10. Or her husband could secretly email this person a certain blog posting.

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  11. I can totally relate to this! Why is it so hard to make friends as adults? At least you have one thing in common - your children.
    The whole thing takes me back to being an awkward wallflower kind of teenager! You've inspired me to write a post with a similar topic!
    Now, go out there this weekend and strike up another conversation!

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  12. I hope you don't mind that I link my readers to this post. I crave honest writing. I am on the subject of friendships this week.

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