05 September 2012

Dear Laura

To the nice woman with the beautiful dark eyed baby I shared a parent meeting with once (I spent the time chasing Della and cleaning up yoghurt, you spent the time massaging your beautiful son and talking about making formula from scratch)... and then I saw you from afar at a festival, ran up, shoved a card in your hand and probably looked as desperate for connection as I felt.

I want to apologize. I thought, that somehow, we would get together this summer. Get to know one another.  We could have tea or walk.  You would be holding your little one in a sling carrier and I would be holding Della's hand, or watching her turn over rocks.

But there is this dichotomy between the life I imagine and the life I am actually having.
It is not a bad thing.
It is just different than I was imagining.

I imagined I would have energy for get togethers. For making plans.  For hikes.  For tea.  For visiting.
I imagined I would be able to carve time for this, create space, make it possible.
I imagined I would choose to carve time for this because I am lonely and it feels so important.
I imagined that this summer I would be making some local friends, some friends that I could share more than a knowing smile as we pass in the drop off or pick up frenzy at daycare.  Friends with whom I could laugh maybe, or swap ideas, collaborate, problem solve, spend time.
I imagined we could go to the farm some time or that we could hike my old hill.
Or we could go to the farmer's market. Pick blueberries.
Or go to the park.

That we would call each other to say hello. To say hey, I am heading out, want to come? And that the other would sometimes say yes.

I see you as someone I would like to know.
But in real life,  my days are filled with other choices. Time is compacted tightly- Della and daycare and work here or driving to client's sites, or up to maine or down to see my sister. For goodness sake's I saw my mom on monday for the first time since JULY 4TH and she lives just a fat hour away. Evenings are totally taken with the flailing interpretative dance that is shepherding Della from daycare to dinner to bed, balancing logistics of dishes and food with LOVE and PLAY and the sanctity of the momentum toward sleep in every fabulously intense moment.

This is about doing This now, and then this and this and this.  Occasionally I stray, I go wildly out into the world, but last minute, often alone, and often glad of that time.  An occasional pilates class. Target. A mid-week grocery visit. The laundramat.  Getting my car fixed.  An early morning walk downtown with Della on the very few mornings we are here and not heading out out out.

When time opens I do not think, who can I connect with? But, what needs to be done? Or what do I choose right now? And my choices are almost always alone and away. Not connecting. I guess I need conflicting things.

I want to apologize since I am the one who reached out to you-- so sincerely wanting to connect, so sincerely wanting to get to know you a little, and to share stories.
And in real life, while those wants persist, I am not finding those things to be what I am choosing to actually do.

I hope you will answer my email if and when I write again,
and I hope you will forgive me not seeing the difference between what I wanted to be true and the actual truth of my rich and full life.



sprogblogger said...

This could have been me writing this. I know what I want: connection, friendship. I know what I need: a bit of time to myself in the midst of the time & energy-suckin' whirlwind that is parenting a toddler.

And so I don't respond to playdate invitations even when I really like the kids & the moms. I don't do out-of-town fun things, because it just sounds like more effort & work than I can tolerate right now.

And so I get upset with myself. Shall try not to do that so much, but will also try to be a bit more open to connecting--even when I'm tired. Even when it's hard.

M. said...

Thank you for writing this. It's lovely to not be feeling so alone in this at the moment. I have the same thoughts; the same feelings every day. I'm beginning to think that perhaps I should just send emails to my own potential connections/play dates that say, "Might you be free to meet for tea in 2014?".

Elizabeth said...

I love this post so much; it captures exactly how I feel. I want to be connected to people, easily in and out of one another's houses, relaxed. At the same time, I often find myself hating it when people stop by unannounced, and I just don't seem to make the effort to reach out because, well, what is already on my plate already takes all I've got and then some. And when I have a moment, I often just want it to myself. So, thank you for this. Sending love and a virtual cup of tea and play date card for any time you want. Della and Liam can skype. xoxo