After my first baby, I spent so many days feeling lonely in a pack of new moms, looking for some solace and finding little to none. Playgrounds, meet-ups at someone's apt, library story-times. I ached to connect to someone else who could sympathize about waking up every two hours to breast-feed, someone who had been cut off from the world that she had once called her own: long, lazy afternoons spent reading Salinger for the millionth time, watching the green crawl all over Thompson Square Park. Late night drinks with friends just because. All this and so much more had been lost to me and I wanted someone to tell me it was going to be OK, to tell me a dirty joke, to talk politics. I wanted to be the old me with someone who could relate to the new me. But I almost never found it for years.
Sitting with a slew of Moms and the one, balding father who kept chiming in his wife's pre-pregnancy breast size at innapropriate moments (but then, when would be an APPROPRIATE moment to chat about that?), a little puppet of a child strung out over his chest, arms and legs dangling, white flowered hat perched on her head.
"Well, we are at 40% of our income two years ago..." Drone.
I just swallow another bite of my chicken salad, pop another bread stick into my baby's mouth and look across the cafe to a beautiful girl. Heavy, dark braids newly stitched to her head tight off her face. Bright eyes and silver lips eating pizza with silked fingertips.
"What about you?" Brings me back to the chinless women gappling.
"When do you want to have your next one?"
I'm not chiming in on this one. No, I don't feel like chatting with them.
It's not enough that we're all mothers. That doesn't just make us all friends. And it hits me. It's just me.