Sunday, May 3, 2009


On a bright, sunny afternoon, my sister and I decided to take Liza for a stroll through the historic district of a nearby walking town. While I was spending my recent Gymbucks (I love Gymboree.), my sister entertained Liza in the village square.

As I headed off to meet them, I noticed Liza hugging a big, red ball. Hmm . . .not hers. Trailing behind her was another little girl, and her mother, who looked strangely familiar. I slowed my pace and squinted my eyes to get a closer look. I know her, I thought. She had these memorable pigtails- simple and unpretentious. It was Maggie, a cheerful mom from the Hip Mamas group. Oh, crap. A part of me wanted to dart in the opposite direction; I am a Hip Mamas dropout.

I joined the Hip Mamas a few months after my daughter was born, to meet other like-minded moms, to find my match. It's not that I don't have friends, but they are all working moms, married without children, or single. I wanted and needed someone with whom I could share this wild, awesome, and also daunting task of mothering.

So I went to some mommy meet-ups, scanning the group for my mommy mate. Being shy, my "pick up lines" were few and far between: "She's only three months old? You look amazing!" Talk of sleep schedules and BPA-free bottles gets old . . .really fast. Needless to say, I did a lot of listening, and observing. Mom A dropped the f-bomb incessantly. Mom B fed her kid garbage. Mom C whipped out her boob wherever, whenever. SO awkward. I admit; I was sizing them up. Is she a potential?

I felt like posting in the Craigslist personals: SAHM seeking SAHM. Desires light and easy adult conversation, stroller walks in the park, bargain-shopper buddy. Must be fun, warm, real, and committed to genuine, lasting friendship.

I was impatient. I wanted to find "the one" (In retrospect, that's a freakishly heavy burden to carry.), someone with whom I could sit and chat over a cup of hot cocoa. You know, someone whose company has the capacity to warm my soul on days when motherhood leaves me lonely and cold.

Now back to Maggie. I didn't bolt. Instead I said with a familiar smile, "I know you! We met awhile back in the mom's group."

"Oh, yeah. I think I remember you from the farm," she replied, returning the smile.

"Do you still go to meet-ups?" I asked.

"Yeah. I'm new to the area and don't know anybody. So it's nice just to get out sometimes with other moms. How 'bout you?"

"Oh, we don't really go anymore. Ever, actually. We just got caught up in other things (semi-true)."

I couldn't tell the truth. Oh, I'm a drop-out; I didn't gel with the other moms.

For another minute or so, we talked about our daughters and then wished each other well: "Maybe we'll see you here again soon!"

As I turned towards the nearest park bench, I had the urge to reach out. What if she was sad and alone? What if she needed someone? She seemed sincere and down-to-earth. Should I give her my number? Oh my God, how ridiculously high school!

Alas, I rummaged through my diaper bag for a pen and a tissue to write on, and scribbled my phone number. Then, I ran to catch up with Maggie.

"Here's my phone number," I said, "in case you ever want to get together. We come here a lot and the girls are so close in age. We'd love to meet up."

"Thanks. Definitely."

And oh, by the way, I'm "available."

I haven't heard from Maggie. Still, it felt good to make a connection, even if only for a moment. There was something about her that felt right, something relaxed and natural. My mommy match? Who knows. That's what I get for playing the field.


Dina said...

too funny...i actually did place a cool mom seeking a cool mom on cafemom..i did make a friend but we never really, really connected. i was looking for someone to hang out with on saturdays without the kids...seems no one wants to do that.

Allison said...

I miss you soooooo much! It still bums me out that right as we moved away, you got pregnant. I mean Cate and Liza are about 9 months apart, but I know they would be best buddies! I totally know how you feel/felt (that was me in NJ before anyone we knew had kids)! I KNOW that days with you would warm my soul when motherhood has left me cold and lonely!

Anonymous said...

What a great post! Yup, I did that whole metromum group & tried to stay connected with my local birth group too, but we sort of drifted away. Actually, I drifted away. Like you I was hoping to find that connection but nothing really emerged. And now I've recently joined the whole blogspere too and met some cool moms. They may not be close, but the relationships seem to work for me :-)

Erin -from Mama Bird Diaries said...

We ARE mommy soul mates :-} This was awesome and I was nodding the whole way going "yes yes yes"!! I mean I always knew there had to be others out there like me but I never seemed to really find them and I wondered if they existed- since my Mamabird posting I wonder no more. Wonderful to "meet you! Even if we can't be neighbors you have yourself a new blog follower :-}

melanie said...

well, i don't know how you found me (since i haven't put my own ad up yet) but thanks for sending me the link to this post. i certainly can identify with a lot of your experience. you wouldn't think it would be so hard to find a good friend.

thanks for sharing your struggle...