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.