I had a lot to do this morning, and I was not in the mood for company. But, I had invited a mom that I never met before over to my house. My mom's club (which is vital for my social life!) began a program that pairs old members up with new members. I eagerly signed up. I remember all too well what it was like when I didn't know anyone. Life is much happier six years later with cherished friendships. I wanted to help others feel welcome.
I had e-mailed my new "buddy" to introduce myself and to suggest that we get together. Since we both have two-year-old boys, I thought we could get together with another good friend of mine who also has a two-year-old boy. I have found that play dates, especially before you know each other well, work better with at least three people. If there is an awkward lull in the conversation, there are three people rather than just two to keep it going!
So, the three of us were to get together this morning at my house. My house is small (we're moving next month to a bigger house!), but there are toys galore and usually small children have fun here.
Unfortunately, my good friend called first thing this morning. She was up all night with a sick child, so it was back to just my new buddy and me!
My first thought was that I must cancel. I really do have a long to do list...especially with Christmas approaching! I would just reschedule. Then I thought of the e-mail from my buddy. She seemed genuinely excited. She said that it's isolating being a stay-at-home mom of an infant and toddler (I remember that...I love preschool because it gets me out with friendly faces everyday!). She also said that she is anxious for she and her son to meet friends. I decided it would be selfish of me to call last minute and cancel.
My friends and I have joked about meeting other mom friends. It's kind of like dating, we discerned! First you notice another mom at the playground, and you wonder if she'll make eye contact. If she doesn't look up from her phone or she seems too engrossed in her kids, it's a no go! If she does, you may strike up a conversation. If it goes well, someone may suggest getting together again. And it goes on from there...it could either fizzle out (your kids don't get along, schedules are too different, etc.), or you could make a great new friend. I've had both happen numerous times. It's still a nerve-wracking process each time though!
All of this was going through my mind this morning as I hurried around cleaning the clutter. A peaceful thought popped into my head as I realized how far I'd come. The first twenty times I hosted a play date, I would scrub my house and make sure there was something freshly baked on the table (with a tablecloth). This morning, I used a couple of Clorox wipes in the bathroom and merely went for "acceptable!" And, I had an unopened package of goldfish crackers in the pantry...perfect!
I also thought about the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary to her cousin Elizabeth. For the past few weeks, I have been making an effort to say the Rosary everyday (a little public accountability never hurt!). I know that all of the mysteries can bring me closer to Jesus, but I get a little bit more excited to pray on the Joyful Mystery days (Saturday and Monday). As a mother of young children, I can easily relate to what I imagine Mary must have felt. I put myself in each mystery, and my personal reflections keep me focused.
Thus this morning, I thought of how Mary reached out to her cousin...another mother in need. In my own small way, I could also reach out to my new "buddy." I knew that we might not hit it off (again, we've never met), or that it might be awkward, or that our kids might not play well together, or that I (or she) might wish we had got stuff done on our "to do" list instead.
But then again, I thought, maybe she really needs a friend (I've surely had those moments in my life) and welcoming her into my crazy, half-clean home could bless both of us. I asked Mary and St. Elizabeth to watch over our visit...no matter the end result.
Happy to report that it was lovely! The conversation flowed naturally and plans were already made to meet up again. I know that it will not always work out so nicely, but I pray for the grace to always reach out to people...whether it suits my mood or not!
Blessed Mother, Pray for us. Saint Elizabeth, Pray for us.
Copyright 2012 Trish Bolster
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