Really, though, things are lovely. No school today, so Ethan and I met a bunch of the preschool moms and their kiddos at a park. The moms attempted conversations while ducking to look under jungle gym apparatus or craning to see over the other moms' shoulders, to make sure whichever kid was theirs was still somewhat visible and not dangling from the top of a slide or one of those obnoxious twisty ladders. The weather was crisp, the kids were ecstatic to be running around like maniacs, the moms were chatty, and there was coffee. Your basic perfect morning.
A little after 11am, I heard someone call to their child, "Are you ready for lunch?!" and then the blankets came out, spread over the grassy area of the park. Lunch boxes emerged from moms' bags and kids sat around rifling through their sandwiches and whatnot. Things their prepared, organized moms had thought to bring for them. Erm. Oops.
As soon as I heard the word "lunch!" I remembered reading it on the email "playdate....ending with a picnic lunch!" What an awesome idea! If you remember to pack the damn lunch. I, however, did not.
Before getting to the park, however, I'd stopped at Whole Foods to make a small purchase for the purpose of getting out cash to use at the park (they have a $5 parking fee). E saw a box of Annie's Organic snack mix (the healthy kid's answer to Chex Mix, right?), so I grabbed that, requested $20 cash back at check-out, and off we'd gone to the park.
So that box of glorified Chex Mix? Oh yeah. That was my kid's lunch at the park today. As the other kids were eating pasta salad and sandwiches and pieces of fruit. The lunch of champions I happened to have on hand? Chex mix. And to wash it down? The last quarter of a bottle of water I had in the car from this weekend. Because I am nothing if not an excellent mother.
I'm grateful that in my preschool experiences with Ethan, I've never come in contact with "those" moms; the ones who look down their nose at you or seem to judge you at every turn. It's very likely that I'm completely oblivious to the looks and judging, but I doubt that given my penchant for self-doubt and social anxiety. For the most part, every single mom I've met, here and in Los Angeles, through Ethan's schools, have been so friendly and laid-back and fun.
So many times I could walk away feeling like "that" mom, but I don't. Most recently (aside from today's delicious and nutritious lunch offering), I returned for afternoon pick-up at preschool after a shopping trip to Sephora where I happened to have tried on a glitter-based eye liner. That wouldn't come off. So perhaps some of the moms might have thought, "well, now we know what Ethan's mom does with her four hours off each day...*cough* stripper *cough*", but they never said it or looked at me sideways or direct their child away from me if they come near. So it's all good.
Hanging out at the park today with this new group of women reminded me of my mom friends in LA and of my mom friends in Virginia. So many other kids' moms have touched my life in the past 3.5 years. I can't help but feel incredibly blessed not just in that my kid is so freaking awesome on a daily basis, and that I get to watch him grow up and be this amazing little person, but that through his mere existence and the fact that he's got a life to lead that involves school and friends and all of that, I get to meet new people all the time, too. Life's pretty sweet.
Oh, and as a side note? Tomorrow I get to go to the infertility clinic and learn how to shoot myself up with drugs that will shock my ovaries into spitting out eggs like a pitching machine. Awesome.