The Cliffhanger At All Play Dates
The text message comes in. You know, that one when your mama friend seems to read your mind while you’re juggling laundry in one arm and a baby in the other. It’s almost as if she can sense the monotony of your day and your thoughts looking toward the week ahead with, once again, no hope for adult fun.
You reach for the phone and read: “Play-date this week?? 🙂”
Yes! Something to look forward to! You drop the
kid laundry basket and quickly text back with a plan to meet at the nearby park.
The day arrives, and you can hardly contain your excitement! The expectation is for you to have a quality adult conversation while the kids entertain each other. And no matter how many times this has not been the reality, you still hope.
You arrive at the park, and your littles immediately run down the hill from the parking lot to the playground to greet their friends―fogetting to wait for cars to pass and not apologizing to the people they run into along the way. But nevermind that, you have a friend to find!
Looking around, you soon lock eyes with your mama friend who is wearing the same tired yet eager expression. As you head her direction, topics of conversation bubble up inside. You can’t wait to have someone to listen to who is over the age of five!
Greeting each other with a side hug while simultaneously pushing your youngest on the swings, you both blurt out a “how’s it going?” but no sooner has this phrase left your lips when suddenly your oldest is at the top of the slide yelling and crying for help because she’s too scared to make her way down. At the same time, your friend’s baby is crying out “Too high!” because she got carried away with her pushing after the excitement of your arrival.
You are quickly snapped back into the reality that during playdates, it’s impossible to finish a sentence, let alone an entire story.
You rescue your little one from the slide and look around to locate your friend. She isn’t at the swings anymore because her son has already moved on. In the meantime, both your kids have run in opposite directions. One is ready to take on the next big adventure while the other is holding back and observing from a park bench nearby. Your son, daughter, and friend are scattered like seeds around the playground. Do you stay with the one at the park bench, chase after the other attempting monkey bars, or do you find your friend to finish that conversation? Your friend is closer in proximity than ever, yet one thing remains― the freedom for
gossip sessions good conversation is stripped away with the “mom” title.
You guys, I can’t tell you how many stories I have started at playdates and never finished. And I’m talking good, juicy stories when right at the climax, my daughter needs a bathroom break or son decides to jump off the top step of the playground equipment requiring a good five minutes of comfort or, in some cases, a first-aid kit!
Conversations during playdates are left with dozens of cliffhangers:
“What was your mother-in-law’s response to the confrontation?”
“What did your husband do when he came home to that?”
“That lady at the store said what?”
Some cliffhangers are never resolved. But guess what? We aren’t alone! And years from now when we face our same friend with our wrinkly eyes granted to us from years of little sleep, we will miss the distractions. We will miss being needed. We will miss those feet that track in dirt from a day at the park. And we will miss those extra kisses and hugs given so loyally to fix every problem.
So for now, as frustrating as it is, laugh at the sentences you don’t complete and continue to say YES to those playdates. We all know we still need them―cliffhangers and all.