The hour ticked by into two. There was constant chatter and a plethora of words, but nothing was said. We had planned this time weeks ago and I’d organized the whole day around it. I’d cleaned the house, structured nap time, all around this get together.
Yet, from the moment they walked in the door, the interruptions started and seemingly never stopped. The dirty diaper. The potty trip. The falling down. The picking up. The fight over the red truck. The potty trip again. The snack. The bug outside. The untied shoes. The noise, the constant noise.
She gathered all her ducklings and walked out to the car. We hugged, I waved good bye and then came back inside to the wining, noisy, lonely place I’d been in for far too long.
Have ever you sat in a crowded room, looking at all the womanly faces and wondered – “Could we be friends?” Have you chit-chatted in the nursery pick-up line and thought – “Man, she’s fun and sounds a lot like me, is this for real?”
Or maybe the sight of her name in your contacts list makes you sigh heavily. You want to call and chat for hours like you used to- but your youngest just woke up early, and your older two just picked a fight over which cartoon to watch.
Motherhood feels lonely sometimes and connection with friends can get lost in the demanding monotony.
I fought it for a long time – the changes that happen between friends that become mommies. I took the way friendship looked B.K. (before kids) and expected it to look the same after. Well, it never did. Phone calls got fewer and farther between, texts weren’t returned as quickly and sometimes they were all business and held no depth. I resented my own kids for interrupting and then – *gasp – I resented her’s.
It was bad.
Until that fateful, tear-filled, mommy-tantrum play date.
This wasn’t going to change. I needed to.
I had to come to grips with this. I had some letting go to do, some growing up to own and needed a whole lot of face time with Jesus.
As I slowly relinquished the expectations of what once was, God, in His silence, sent me people who needed a friend more than I. Literally, I’d nearly crash my car into theirs. Or “happen” to sit next to them at church, MOPS, and the one and only Pre-school concert- all in the same week. There in that place of letting go I found a process of staying open, but it would cost me my self.
I started showing up in the everyday – despite my lonely, or messy, or fearful, or put together, or Spirit-filled, or bone dry – self. I smiled at the mom in the grocery store. I agreed to the awkwardly timed play date because it worked well for her. I said hello to the mom I’d seen 10 times at drop off. I embraced the interruptions and savored the fragmented conversations.
I was learning to be the friend -to accept ourselves in our everyday and let it be. My role in this moment right here with her and us and all of our offspring had nothing to do with me, and everything to do with this moment. Perhaps we just needed adult company during the diaper changes. Perhaps we just needed a laugh at the irony of it all. Perhaps we needed nothing but a smile. Perhaps this moment together with her could just be a moment free of all expectations. And all of these moments were enough.
That sea of beautiful faces I found in my here and now took on a whole new look. They looked like me.
“Here is a simple rule of thumb for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you; then grab the initiative and do it for them! If you only love the lovable, do you expect a pat on the back? Run-of-the-mill sinners do that. …If you only give for what you hope to get out of it, do you think that’s charity?” Luke 6:31-34 MSG
You might be lonely, your lonely might come and go, either way, can I hug you in this moment? Just keep showing up in this everyday thing called life, and all of these moments – the lonely ones, the friend-filled ones – they add up to an immeasurable fullness.
I’m linking up with an amazing community of Faith Cheerleaders today. Come check them out at RaRa Link Up!
Oh and P.S. ~ here on Faith2Shine you can always click scripture references to find them in context at BibleGateway.com (muah)