Silver Linings

After spending several weekends traveling, Lee, Camille and I have had the last couple of weekends at home. It’s been wonderful, but has also caused an old, familiar longing to resurface. I need a group of moms and babies to play with on weekends.
I’ve been trying to put myself out there, but so far with less than positive results. There is a mom I run into sometimes at baby school, and she recently said we should get together. I gave her my number, and last weekend, she said we should go to the museum Sunday. She said she’d call.
Sunday, I looked forward to our baby play date. After church, I kept my cell phone close waiting for her call. It never came. I’d like to say it didn’t bother me, but it did. As the day grew later, I grew more disappointed. Finding new friends feels like dating, and I got stood up.
Monday, I saw her at daycare and she didn’t mention it. I didn’t know what to say, and didn’t have the courage to say what I felt. Instead, she said we needed to get together, and asked if I wanted to meet her at the spray pool in my neighborhood park this weekend. I shrugged, not sure what to say, not wanting to get my feelings hurt again.
The more I thought about it, the more I wondered if I’d misunderstood. Maybe we didn’t really have museum plans. Maybe she didn’t think the date was set. I felt a little foolish to have been waiting for her call, and didn’t want her to think I was desperate. So the next day, I said I’d love to meet her in the park Saturday. She said she’d call.
I got her number this time so I could check in. About 30 minutes before we were supposed to meet, I called. A delay. Her baby had been playing hard and needed a nap. “And it’s really hot outside…” Sounded like she was looking for an out. We pushed our date back a little, but just a few minutes later she called me back to cancel.
I’m sad to say I was crushed. Camille was slathered in sunscreen and dressed in her swimsuit ready to go, yet this mom didn’t seem to think it was important to keep our date. I mean, who wouldn’t want to play with this sweet girl?
Determined not to let her cancellation get me down, Camille and I set off for the spray pool on our own. I was going to keep a positive attitude, dammit!
But when I pulled up to the park, I couldn’t believe it. The spray pool was not on. The concrete was dry. And hot. WHY WOULD THE CITY TURN OFF THE SPRAY POOL ON A HOT SATURDAY AFTERNOON? To spite me.
Discouraged, I drove home. But I knew I had to make use of Camille’s swimsuit and sunscreen, so I opened her new inflatable baby pool. I searched for our bicycle pump, but couldn’t find it. It was up to me and my lungs.
This was my “Clark” moment from the movie Vacation. The whole family had been traveling across country for vacation, and the trip had taken so many wrong turns. At one point, the whole family is begging Clark to just turn around. Just go home and hang it up. Clark snaps, and in a maniacal tone says, “We’re gonna have so much fun they’re gonna need plastic surgeons to remove the smiles from our faces! We’ll be whistling zippity-doo-dah out of our ass holes!”
That’s all I could think about while I was blowing up her pool. I was hurt. Disappointed. But I was determined we were going to have fun, no matter what.
Fortunately, that’s when the day took an upswing. I filled the pool, and Camille loved it. We played and played.
Every minute I spent with that smiling face lifted my spirits. Then, the babysitter came over and Lee I went on a dinner and movie date. We discovered a great new restaurant, and enjoyed holidng hands through a funny movie.
Yeah, that mom hurt my feelings. But thanks to my sweet family, a real bummer of a day turned into a great afternoon.