It would have been easy to raise my eyes from the kids playing and introduce myself. But I didn’t. I kept my gaze on the kids, like it was the most fascinating thing to watch. Our boys both appeared to be around the same age and were fighting over the same toys. I’m sure we could have traded war stories about life with little boys.
How many times have you been to urgent care? Wow! Three times? I’ve been twice. This week.
Instead I just sat there, redirecting my son every once in a while while sipping my coffee. I kept trying to think of something to ask you to break the ice. I almost went with the classic mom line, “How old is he?” I found myself nervously twirling the cardboard sleeve around my mocha, hoping you would say something to me. Then after a while you gathered your things and were on your way. The moment was gone.
Later that night I was telling my husband about my missed connection, “She looked like she could be my friend!” My husband then proceeded to ask, “Well, did you get her name? Her number?” “Whoa, buddy. That’s moving a little fast, don’t you think? No, I didn’t even talk to her. But we made real eye contact when the barista came and got our order.” Next time I tell myself, next time I’ll make the first move.
Making mom friends can be a challenge; I’m sure we’ve all been there. Sometimes I think I should start a Craigslist Missed Connections for Moms. I imagine it would read something like this (after a missed connection I had at the grocery store):
You were wearing the cutest sweatpants, they looked so soft. Where did you get them? Also, it looks like you have perfected the messy bun, I’m jealous of the women who can make it look messy, but not too messy. You know? You had two kids, both hanging off the side of the grocery cart. I saw some older ladies giving you the side eye, but I understand. You were stocking up on coffee and fruit snacks. I think you noticed me in the coffee aisle. Message me with what I was wearing if you remember me (it doesn’t count if you just guess black yoga pants).
I am not sure if this would be the best or the creepiest way to make mom friends. For now I’ll err on the creepy side. I think I’ll stick to the best advice I have heard recently, “Go first.” Don’t wait for someone else to say hi to you, don’t wait for someone else to schedule a playdate. Go first. What’s the worst that will happen? She says no and you move on. Or she says yes and you might find a real friend. The next time I’m at a coffee shop and my little boy finds a friend (within seconds of being there), I’m going to take a page from his coloring book. I’m going to pick my head up and look her straight in the eye, smile and say, “Hi.”