This mommyhood thing is definitely some strange social experiment. You're either solo a lot with your tot (or tots) or you're forced~ for the sake of your child's blossoming friendships~ into lengthy gatherings with women you'd not even want to wait in a long line behind. There's this whole aspect of mommyhood no one ever tells you about: It's hard finding Mommy friends who you actually like and whose kids you also like and whom your kid also likes.
But, let's just posit that you do stumble across such a rare mommy gem as you go about your worldly wandering. Then, what? It's this bizarre world where you meet a woman in some spontaneous way, she seems awesome (in your brief interaction), your kids get along nicely (again, in the few minutes they're together), you're in a neighborhood close to your own (therefore, conceivably you live within a small distance of each other), and the stars feel fairly aligned for future gatherings....how exactly does that work now?
It's seriously like you're asking someone on a date. You're a woman asking a woman on a double date. You're amidst an extremely limited, in no way all-encompassing encounter with a stranger and you have mere seconds to decide if you'd wish to take it further. And, of course, you'd have to present such a proposition in a manner that properly conveys that you're not a desperate stalker type, (because, you're really not~ just wanted to fully clarity) but instead see a like-minded gal with whom you see potential for both you and your children, all before she goes on her merry way.
Yesterday afternoon I experienced just such a situation that left me feeling bummed for many minutes afterwards, because I didn't seize the moment. More specifically: I didn't seize the Mommy. My mini man and I visited Daddy at work, and we all popped into a local Starbucks beforehand to fetch an iced tea before taking a Springtime stroll. Ahead of us in line was a lady with a boy younger than mine in a carseat-stroller, so I lifted my little guy to see him and said, "Say hello to the baby," because he loves seeing babies. The lady turned with a huge smile, her baby boy smiled, and it was a lovely moment as the little guys shared some boy communication in smiles and giggles. We learned her boy was a year, I shared mine had just turned 2 1/2, and we reminisced about how truly unbelievable it is how quickly the time flies and how we treasure every minute with our little men.
She was, in short, everything I like in a potential friend: smily, immediately friendly and upbeat, even her son was smily and interacted well with my mini man, she was attractive, but not so much that I feel wildly insecure (let's be honest: I like them pretty enough to look at, but I don't need to be immersed in another woman's gorgeousness~ no woman does) and open to conversation. Yet, I balked. By the time I had realized my true error, she was far enough down the street so that the only way to potentially reach her would be to sprint and become the aforementioned type, who I am certainly not.
So, this left me sympathizing with men in a way I never imagined I would have reason to understand. With very little to go on, they're expected to assess their enjoyment of another, their future interest in that person, and then find a way to come off smooth, clever, unaggressive, not too eager, yet confident, innocuous and intriguing enough that a woman says yes to sharing her precious contact information. Well, consider me impressed. That's an awful lot to package in one random moment when a person happens to (in my case, shockingly so) feel someone sparks my interest. Because, of course, there's always the very real possibility that you get rebuffed or blown off. Yikes.
I turn to hubby as she's disappearing around the corner and quickly share my regret over my inaction and apprehension over what I could have said to initiate. He instantly relays several perfect openings. Great. I guess it's imbedded in male DNA. Maybe I needn't feel so badly for men after all? At least now I have some words at my disposal for the next time such a Mommy kismet moment arises. I'll be ready and I'll try to be brave, for us both.