It’s hard to make new friends at my age, in this stage in my life.
First of all, I have kids. They take up
all most the good parts a significant chunk of my time. It’s difficult to forge new friendships with three young kids in tow. That removes most daytime activities, and by evening I’m usually exhausted borderline brain dead.
So whenever I’m placed in a situation when I feel like I’m making a new friend connection with another Mom, I get excited.
That’s what happened at the park today…
Don’t blow it, Susan.
Don’t mention the pink unitard.
Don’t freak out if Cecilia eats a bug.
Don’t yell at Jake for giving her the bug and telling her to eat it.
Don’t make a face at Joey for overhearing this situation and not tattling on his siblings like he does for everything else they do in his presence.
Be a normal Mom.
I can do this…
At least that’s what I think until Cecilia comes over with a scowl on her face, arms crossed.
Potential new friend Mom says, “Aww! She looks really mad about something.”
“What else is new?” the voice inside my head thought…
“What’s the matter, Cecilia?” I sweetly asked my ticked off toddler hoping her response wouldn’t involve and curse words or other incriminating statements that might make me look bad in front of my new Mom friend.
“Where’s mines? I want mines too!” she complained.
“Where’s what, Cecilia?” obviously missing something.
I looked over at her brothers who were huddled next to each other trying to both fit down the slide at the same time.
“I want mines too!” she said a little louder and a bit more agitated this time.
“Don’t blow this for me, kid!” I thought as new friend Mom watched on and gave me a sympathetic smile.
“Cecilia, Mommy doesn’t know what you want that you don’t have…we didn’t bring anything with us to the park. All your toys are at home.” I reminded her.
“I want my balls!” she replied.
“Cecilia we didn’t bring any balls with us. All of your stuff is at home. You can play with your balls at home later,” I calmly told her.
Looking around the play area I saw no kids with any balls whatsoever, and felt, in the pit of my stomach, that this conversation was heading down an all too familiar path of embarrassment.
“I want balls like my brothers!” she exclaimed. “Where’s my balls like my brothers?”
This is the part when I just want to become invisible.
Cecilia’s brothers, who also came to the playground without balls or toys of any sort were still sitting at the top of the slide pointing at something unseen off in the distance.
No balls in sight.
Balls like my brothers…
Balls like my brothers…
The new friend Mom is now trying to not pay attention to what my daughter is saying, and Cecilia is just standing there staring at me, clearly waiting for some sort of response.
It’s then that my delayed senses, not yet fully caffeinated, connect the pieces of the broken-English spoken by the toddler.
She wants balls…
Balls that her brothers have…
She doesn’t have balls because…
I squat down right next to her, and whisper softly, “Oh, honey. Remember we talked about this before. You’re different from your brothers because they are boys and you’re a girl…”
I feel new Mom friend looking at me. I can tell she’s trying to not be obvious about it, but seems to be listening as nonchalantly possible to a stranger give her daughter a birds and the bees conversation in a public park.
“Girls don’t have balls, sweetie. Girls just have a vagina,” I instruct her.
“Whaaat?!” Cecilia asks loudly.
Thinking she didn’t hear me, because of the way she just proclaimed, “Whaaat?!” I decided to repeat the last part a little louder this time.
“Girls don’t have balls, sweetie. Girls just have a vagina,” I say much louder and now two more times than I would have ever wanted to…
It’s at this point time freezes.
I stand up and look at the boys going down the slide one after the other.
Then I look to my youngest. The one full of questions. Cecilia’s sweet, innocence didn’t mean to ruin a possible new friend for me. I know this… but it is over.
I’m sure of it.
I turn to her, my maybe Mom friend.
I see all the adult conversations we could have had, all the wine we could have shared together under the rouse of a book club, all the laughs, all the fun we’d never have together.
It was over before it even started.
Time resumes to normal speed, and I find myself staring at my would-be Mom friend.
Blinking repeatedly, I break my glance away and turn my attention back to my friendship-squashing tot just in time to enjoy her expression as she yells, “Vagina?” Mom! I want my mini golf balls!”
What the hell kid? NOW you come up with the word golf?
My prospective Mom friend burst into laughter, something she had clearly been choking back for a few minutes now, and she points to Joey and Jake, again at the top of the slide, rolling two golf balls down first…
I guess I should be happy they found golf balls and not something gross, but seriously kids?
After forcing myself to stay another 15 minutes, so as not to appear to be leaving with my tail between my legs, I gathered up my offspring and headed back to the car.
Just before I closed the door and drove off I took one last look at my would be Mom friend, who lives just a neighborhood away, and thought maybe another time, another place we would be BFF’s.
But at this point, in this life, she’ll just be another one that got away…
Is it hard for you to make friends now too? Is it just me? Leave me a comment and let me know!