That morning I woke up nervous and excited. I was hopeful and scared. I set my alarm a half hour early so I would have time to beat my short wavy mombé hair into style submission. I applied an extra coat of mascara, and changed my outfit three times. Finally landing on my original choice: an oversized maroon sweater, cuffed skinny jeans and a pair of checkerboard slip-on Vans. I felt cute and confident. This was my current favorite look in the weekly rotation of mom uniforms.
We moved through our usual morning activities with more ease than normal, as we were finally falling into a groove since starting Pre-School a few weeks prior. Frozen mini-pancakes for the toddler, toast and fruit for the baby. Coffee for Mama. My husband was out of town for work, so it was just me and the boys, and I felt like I was really finding my footing for the first time since we’d unpacked the moving boxes. I sipped my coffee as the boys chattered on, eating their meals and begging for one more episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse before we had to head out the door.
As we pulled into the Preschool parking lot I threw up a silent prayer, that today – Please, Lord – today, can drop off please go well? For the past few weeks each Tuesday and Thursday I had to strap the baby into the Ergo and set my focus, because I needed both hands to haul my protesting toddler into the school, where he would whine and cry as I peeled his grip from around my neck and deposit him into the waiting arms of a school staff member. Each morning I was hopeful it would finally be the day it clicked for him and he would bounce off to play with his friends on the swing set – complete with a “bye – Mom!” tossed over his shoulder. My mind doubted that he was ready for the transition into such a new environment. With selling our home, moving to a new state and him turning 3 there had been a lot of changes in his world. But my mom-gut told me Preschool would be a good move in the long run. We both needed friends, desperately.
I spun on my heel and bolted for the door of the school. Once I was on the other side, I peaked in the window to see he’d already calmed and was nodding in agreement with the teacher holding him. I exhaled and loaded the baby into his car seat; suddenly longing for our old friends and the familiarity of our days spent adventuring with them. I pulled up the maps app on my phone as I turned the ignition.
I parallel park my SUV just as it’s starting to rain. I hop out and run around the car to crab my raincoat from the trunk. Pop the baby back into the Ergo and flip open my umbrella. I dodge puddles as I make my way to the door. Once inside I slip off my coat and place my soggy umbrella by the door. I make my way into the café, spotting a woman with short blonde hair and a double stroller. Here we go.
The next hour is a blur of new faces and coffee mugs. Babies are chirping for snacks and everyone is exchanging hellos and welcome greetings. I’m surrounded by a group of women, all from diverse backgrounds, but all with one thing in common – we’re moms and we need friends. The time passes far too quickly, and before I’m ready I need to excuse myself for preschool pick-up. I exchange numbers with two moms, feeling hopeful that this might be it. Maybe I’ve found my tribe.
Later that afternoon, during naptime, my phone chimes. It’s a mom from this morning! I nervously swipe the screen.
So nice to meet you today, welcome to town!
If you need anything please let me know
My fingers fly into tapping a reply.
Thank you, everyone was so nice! I’m excited for our next meeting!
I later phone my closest Mom-friend, who now lives on the opposite coast. She immediately asks how the morning went, and I gush about the group and how great the vibe was. She laughs and deems the Mama Date a success. I agree.