To the Two Ladies on a Mom Date: Monday, April 24th, 2017
I hope that you exchanged numbers. You two really seemed to hit it off, and I couldn’t tell if you planned to get together again later, so I just want to say this now… I hope that happens. I hope I witnessed your very first best friend lunch. It’s so hard to make friends when you’re a mom, and yet when you’re a mom you need friends more than ever. Ya know?
Okay, so before I go on, I can’t promise that the next part of this letter isn’t going to sound super creepy. Because basically, I was just listening to your conversation, but let me explain. Maybe by the end you’ll understand why.
So we were all at the same fast food restaurant for lunch a few weeks ago, and like you, I chose a booth near the big glass windows so I could watch my kids in the play area, while scarfing down a few nuggets of my own.
I was busy opening up the plastic table covers and removing the wrappers from the straws (it’s like a five-minute job to set up a lunch table for little kids… right?!) when I noticed you both.
Your adorable girls were playing in the playzone while you stayed back and took care of the leftover fruit cups and baby siblings. You were well into your conversation, but I couldn’t help but try and imagine how you started to talking to each other. After all, I don’t think you went to lunch together. Yet, sitting at your own tables, somehow you began to converse.
Maybe your kids were talking to each other before they ran off to play. Maybe one of you turned and asked, “How old are your girls?” Maybe there was a spilled drink or a need for napkins or any number of mom situations that led to your conversation. I’m not sure, but I know when I arrived, you were talking about your lives.
…Who had lived where for how long. Whose husband did what. Who had certain plans for their life, but ended up doing something completely different. Who was going back to school. Who was taking a break from work. Who was done having kids…
(You covered a lot in the ten minutes I was eavesdropping.)
And right before you left, I remember thinking, That’s how some of the greatest mom friendships are born. I hope they exchanged numbers. I hope they plan to get their sweet girls together again.
The thing is, weeks later I kept wondering…Why? Why would I hope that two strangers left as friends? Why would I care?
It’s because I understand.
No time, little social life, few opportunities to connect with someone who would just… get it… finding a mom friend is tough work. But we need them.
We need someone that will understand what we’re going through… someone who will not only see past the ball cap to cover the fact that we haven’t washed our hair in days… but who will buy a matching hat because… there’s really only so much dry shampoo a girl can use at one time.
We need someone that gets what it feels like to be pulled in a million directions, to wonder, and second-guess, and pray that we’re making the right choices. We need someone who knows what it feels like to be fueled by only coffee and Jesus’s love. We need someone that we can text at 1:20 am and know that they’re probably awake feeding the baby.
And at the same time… we need someone who will let us go weeks without calling because we are just so stinkin’ busy… and someone who understands that we might not ever hang out without our kids because there’s just not any time.
We need someone who gets it… but who doesn’t have to always be around to get us… That’s the gift of a mom friend.
The truth is, I know how first mom dates can turn out. Seven years ago, I sat down at a table across from a stranger, and we ended up raising our kids together. Our boys have been best friends since they had binkies and our girls have been friends since birth. Our friendship isn’t perfect, but neither are we. And the beautiful truth is that we don’t try and make any of it. We just let our friendship be what it is – full of grace and love.
I guess I said all of that to say this…
You never know when the random mom you meet in the fast food restaurant, or the school drop off line, or outside the church nursery is going to end up helping you fold your laundry, or planning your next baby shower, or calling you at midnight because you sent a text saying you felt like you just couldn’t breathe.
Ladies, I hope you exchanged numbers.
Because mom friendships don’t always have usual beginnings, but they are always a gift.
SO much love,