Running behind Kay in the crowded space that was my brother’s home celebrating my niece’s birthday, I passed a girl whose face looked familiar. Smiling in my rush, I continued on and finally caught Kay before she put her hand in the trash can. Scooping her up, I looked for a space to rest my weary legs. Truth be told, two toddlers make for a very physically active day. Gratefully handing over the twins to other folks at the party, I sat down and surveyed the scene.
Was it not too long ago, I was the one sitting off by the side, watching other women run after kids with a hassled look on their faces wondering why I felt odd? At parties similar to this, I would stand by the sidelines wondering why children occupied so much of their parents’ time and energy. I would be in animated conversation with someone only to be interrupted by little hands asking for juice or help with going to the restroom.
I longed for adult conversation then. I do now. What is different now is being on the other side of the spectrum where my eyes can see nothing but little behinds and my mind comprehend nothing but ways to keep the wee ones safe from mischief. If I missed one of the girls momentarily, eyes would scan the room and beyond till I spied her before I can rest in peace. I feel anxiety till we are back home and the girls in their safe zone.
Back home, my thoughts kept going back to the woman with the familiar face. In another life, I would have stopped to introduce myself and talk to her. Perhaps she understood. Perhaps not. I hope she did.