I was feeling mopey today. Lonely. Sad. Overwhelmed.
Before having kids, I never used to be much for going out. I mean, I’ve always been social and rarely went long periods without hanging out with someone, but I’d often pick watching a movie at home with a friend over going to a bar. The strange thing is, now that I don’t have the option of going out and doing my own thing, the loneliness of the situation sometimes brings me down. Where I used to cherish having alone-time, now I get lost in it and struggle to fill the time with stuff that satisfies me. Most people I know have their own shit to do, or their own kids, or spouses… and I guess I’m still coping with how depressing it is having nowhere to go and nothing to do on Fridays and Saturdays.
After being cooped up in the house all day with the kids, I finally took them to the park after dinner. I figured a change of scenery might change my mood. Or, at the very least, the sound of one of my girls crying over being pushed by the other wouldn’t be so loud outdoors. 😉
Not too long after we arrived, I immersed myself in a (not-so) exciting game of solitaire on my iPhone (good God that sounds pathetic!), when a mom, her dog and three kids arrived. She made a few attempts at conversation which only annoyed me. Couldn’t she see that I was busy being a nerd damn it?! Now, I normally make friends easily, though I’m not quite at my mom’s level of proficiency. That woman will talk to a doorknob. Still, I had to take a moment, put the phone down and realise that I had been craving adult interaction all freaking day. I was lonely as hell before going to the park. Why was I not seizing this opportunity?!?
So I started paying attention… and I’m glad I did. Within minutes, her two eldest daughters were saying they’d “take care of the baby”. My eldest and her youngest, who are the same age, were chasing each other through the play structure. We commiserated over how all moms “hate” this job every once and a while. We laughed over how if an adult behaved like a 3 year old we’d call him an asshole. (But obviously we’d never call our kids that… to their face.)
… she didn’t want to shake hands, she wanted a hug (my kid of gal) …
… she wants to get together for tea …
… she lives within walking distance of my house …
… one of her kids said she wants to babysit my kids when she “grows up” …
It was the perfect antidote to my mopey mood.
I’m not sure how much I believe in fate, but this meeting was certainly a fortuitous coincidence.
PS. DD4 hasn’t had the chance to bike much this summer. I’ve often been afraid of letting her go on her own, because of having to prevent DD2 from running into traffic at the same time as I keep reminding DD4 to look ahead. Still, I let her bike to the park today. It took her about 5 minutes of coming and going for her to build enough confidence to do it, but she eventually went off on her own with her bike to follow the other kids around the park paths. She was gone for a good 15 minutes and was so happy when she came back… proudly yelling “I did it mommy!”
At bedtime, DD4 said to me “YOU did it mommy. You helped me ride my bike. That was your special gift to me.”
And moments like that make this job totally worthwhile.