Of course I noticed you right away. Not because you’re pretty, skinny, or dressed in something I would love to wear (which you were) but because you were sitting with your adorable toddler who was watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on your phone, ignoring you.
You kept stealing glances at us (because my girls will always call attention– the younger one demanding to be fed and the older one busy flipping her warm towel in the air, claiming it to be a pizza). I wanted to talk to you, I wanted to ask you to join us. I’ve been in your exact position before– with company that is focused elsewhere. And you can’t ignore them back because they are holding your device of entertainment or distraction. So you find yourself in a position you never thought you’d be in before you had kids: eating in a restaurant with no one to talk to.
I knew if I didn’t have to deal with wiping my toddler’s hands (and face and arms and neck) every few seconds, I could have made a friendly comment or asked you a question. I’ve done it countless times with other moms. Or I could have talked to your son first and taken it from there. But I had to deal with my own little tornado, grabbing everything in sight. I had to make sure my older one stopped playing chef and ate her own food. And oh right, I also had to feed myself too and talk to my husband.
Such is the life of a mom. Or maybe such is the life I have chosen. Don’t get me wrong, so many things were a win that night: my littlest one ate a lot, actually sat for the entire duration of the meal, my little one enjoyed her food and not just the warm towels, and my husband and I even managed to have parts of a decent conversation.
But I couldn’t help noticing you sitting there all alone looking around you and how I would have loved to strike up a conversation with you too. Because God knows moms need to talk to each other.
So I’m doing the next best thing: Reminding other moms how important it is to keep in touch and keep talking about what we’re going through — because it’s so easy to get caught up in the demands our family makes on us that we always put ourselves last. And even if this is what we were taught to do in high school, I think the only way we can survive this madness of having young kids is to know that we aren’t alone, and that we can talk about it and should talk about it with those who understand.
Love, the mom at the table next to yours
Happy Mother’s Day to all of us moms! Love from, Ines, Treena, and Tricia