Common Ground

I had the unique pleasure of joining our neighbor and her three kids on a walk/playdate today. To be outnumbered by children is not only overwhelming, but when the group includes two extremely active toddler boys things get downright CHAOTIC. Now, I realize men have selective hearing, and I learned this early on when the room included John and the TV. I could have hooked a blow horn to his ear and he still wouldn't have flinched. But listening to this poor mother of two toddler boys (her third, a girl, was perched on her hip) spout orders at ear deafening volume while they zoomed past her in all directions on their bicycles was more than I could handle. It was "Man Hearing" at its best. It was all Shelby could do to peddle her teeny tricycle until her feet were a blur just to keep up with the two daredevil riders.

I've admitted before how I have spent the last year in this new community avoiding potential friends. And this playdate is completely out of character for me. At one point in the day, when all the kids were preoccupied and two moms left to converse, I realized there were few discussion interests we shared. Well, really only one, children. When we had exhausted the topic and our time, for that matter, kids were back and needed shoes tied, nose wiped, another snack, get my ball, I thought to myself, parenting is truly the common bond.

If I ran into this woman at a party, sans kids, no amount of conversation with her could ever convince me of a future friendship. But there we sat, two completely opposite people, chatting the afternoon away because we are mothers, because we are wives, because we are students in the school of parenting.

So, I suppose this meeting signifies a new beginning for me. The floodgates are slowly opening, my "I'm Searching For A Friend" sign is posted, I'm making eye contact, and even smiling at others...occasionally. Who knows, maybe someone out there will become my new friend.

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