Here’s my number…

It’s such an odd phenomenon, making mom-friends.

I suppose if my girlfriends had children Maya’s age, I wouldn’t think about it as much, but my girl doesn’t have many little girl friends. She seems to be always surrounded by adults, or occasionally little boys.

At this age, most boys don’t want to play make-believe fairies with her, so I want to find creative little girls for her to play with. Little girls whose parents are open-minded and playful, yet also responsible and nurturing. I’m always on the lookout, and sometimes I feel like I’m dating again, the process is not not that different in the beginning.

* * *

You see an interesting woman with children your kids’ ages in the park (school yard, library, etc.) She’s wearing birkenstocks and seems nice. She smiles when you catch each other’s eyes by the slide. Birkenstock Mom is not too trendy, she’s dressed in jeans. You’ve already moved past the two Gucci moms chatting over by the monkeybars while their kids eat something in the sandbox.

You and Birkenstock Mom watch each other to see how you interact with your kids. Does she discipline too much? Too little? No she’s present, but not hovering. Does she look like she shares similar sensibilities? She hugs her daughter a lot too. That’s a good sign.

Maybe you’ll both happen by the swings, pushing your kids. It’s a perfect opportunity for a conversation.

“So how old’s your daughter?” she asks.

“3,” you say. “And yours?”

“Also 3. I haven’t seen you around here before.”

“We’ve been here for a year, but we haven’t met a lot of people yet. How about you? Are you from the area?”

“Yes, but we’ve only been in our house for six months…”

And so it goes. You try to get a feel for one another, and if it seems like you and your kids are compatible, you may ask for her number, or offer yours. You wait a few days to call, and then there’s the next level…the Play Date.

Published by Valya

Valya Dudycz Lupescu has been making magic with food and words for more than 20 years, incorporating folklore from her Ukrainian heritage with practices that honor the Earth. She’s a writer, content developer, instructor, and mother of three teenagers. Valya is the author of THE SILENCE OF TREES and the founding editor of CONCLAVE: A Journal of Character. Along with Stephen H. Segal, she is the co-author of FORKING GOOD: An Unofficial Cookbook for Fans of The Good Place and GEEK PARENTING: What Joffrey, Jor-El, Maleficent, and the McFlys Teach Us about Raising a Family (Quirk Books), and co-founder of the Wyrd Words storytelling laboratory. Valya earned her MFA in Writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and her poetry and prose have been published in anthologies and magazines that include, The Year's Best Dark Fantasy & Horror, Kenyon Review, Culture, Gargoyle Magazine, Gone Lawn, Strange Horizons, Mythic Delirium. You can find her on Twitter @valya.

2 thoughts on “Here’s my number…”

  1. swampwitch says:

    Ok — you had me all nodding and warm and fuzzy right up until I read the Puff the Magic Dragon and I cracked up.

    Indeed, I imagine the playground substituted for the bar scene scenario would indeed make you wonder if old Puff hasn’t been breathing overr your shoulder while you were pushing that swing…

  2. hollyheartfree says:

    Just read ladyhawkers comment. It so mirrored my own! It’s been a long long time since I needed to worry about ‘play dates’. Thanks for the memory. I loved being a mom of young children. I loved every aspect of mommyhood. I absolutely adore being the mother of adults. It’s such a wonderful experience meeting them as equals.

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