A long time ago (but not that long ago) when I was in Kindergarten, we were colouring Easter bunnies in anticipation of the upcoming holiday. I decided that my bunny’s outfit would be pink. As I reached for the pink crayon in the centre of the table, I happened to find another little girl much like myself holding on to the other end of that pink crayon. Since she was in close proximity of me and we both liked the colour pink, we instantly became best friends.
And that’s precisely how it works with kids. Proximity and similar interests dictate who you befriend. “Similar interests” aren’t what you think they are; we are not talking about reading, playing sports, or other games. Under the age of 12, a “similar interest” is two people who both like cream soda.
Things change as we grow older. Cream soda doesn’t cut it anymore. As a matter of fact, it becomes increasingly difficult to make new friends the older we get. I’m not too sure how the easter bunny colouring table slowly turns into a subway filled with strangers who refuse to make eye contact with one another.
I love meeting new people, but discovered that telling strangers that I like pink and drink cream soda can empty out a subway car pretty quickly. Since our big move, I have stumbled on another way to meet new people. I have outlined these steps for all of you social butterflies who are just itching to spread your wings.
(1) Get knocked up.
Birds. Bees. If that doesn’t ring a bell, Google it.
(2) Flaunt that bump.
People love pregnant women. It must the estrogen-surge that makes your skin glow and hair luscious. Not to mention the miracle that is growing inside of you. I can’t tell you how many times random strangers at Walmart would smile and strike a conversation with me. Unfortunately, this stage doesn’t last more than a few months. By the ninth month, you feel like a beached whale and couldn’t care less about making friends. As a matter of fact, forget random strangers, even friends and family avoid you because you are generally unpleasant to be around.
(3) Move to a new city? Maybe not.
At first, I thought it was the city. What an incredible place to be! People are so friendly and welcoming. Strangers speak to one another – certainly not what I’d expect from a major metropolitan city. This went on for a few weeks, and I welcomed the refreshing change; but, yesterday it all changed. I went out to grab a cup of coffee. This was the first time I’d ventured outside my apartment on my own. Everyone on the street and in the cafe remained glued to their smartphones and minded their own business.
It’s not the city. It’s the baby.
Turns out once you get past steps (1) and (2) you secure a subscription to The Mommy Club. This one of a kind membership is one that lasts a lifetime. There’s plenty of junk mail, and no option to unsubscribe. Ever.
As a new mom in a new city I am back at the colouring table. I am approached by moms on a daily basis, invited to play groups and story times. Our babies are the Cream Soda we can’t get enough of – we share experiences, give advice, take advice, and support one another through this wonderful and trying time of our lives. Our joys are heightened as we speak with pride and delight about our little ones, and our tribulations lessened as we learn we are not alone.