One with a new baby who was desperately sought, and who is now loved equally as much as she is driving her parents crazy with incessant crying. “Some days I wonder, what have I done?” says this new mother.
One is recently divorced, her young marriage gone bad in the usual way that mismatched couples often go bad–just because. “It feels so strange to be in this place, you know, single again,” says this new divorcee.
And me–a mom well past the baby stage, a woman who is years older than both girls as much as she is a girl who is separated from all she has ever known.
“It gets better really soon,” I tell the young mother, and I mean it.
“I know exactly how you feel. Wow, do I know,” I tell the young divorcee, and I mean that, too.
We enjoy an incredible brunch with each other and others from our restaurant in the most beautiful of places, and I have so much unexpected fun. Afterward, we have a couple for the road down the road at another place, just the three of us, just to hold onto the fun a little longer.
And they encourage me to call the guy I am supposed to meet later this evening, so I do. But he clearly screens my call. I shrug it off, because I wasn’t sure I wanted to meet him, anyway. But the rebuff kind of stings, anyway.
Soon, the young mother reluctantly says goodbye, now so long past brunch, because she now must face the reality of her young motherhood, again.
And the young divorcee checks her texts and voice mail. She might just have plans tonight, because no one is screening her calls.
Just then, a perfect stranger walks up to me, standing a little too close to my bar stool. “Can I tell you something?” he asks as we prepare to leave the place in which we’d rather stay a little longer.
“Sure,” I smile.
“You are beautiful.” And he quickly walks away.
I am taken off guard.
“Thank you,” I murmur, eyes downcast, but he is seconds gone and I have thanked no one.
Because I don’t feel beautiful at this moment. I just feel older.
“What did he say?” asks the young mother.
“Yeah, what?” asks the young divorcee.
“He said I was beautiful. Welcome to my world,” I shrug, now feeling uncomfortable.
“But that’s great,” says the young mother.
“Go for it,” says the young divorcee.
No. Not tonight. Not this day. I just feel older, and maybe only a little wiser.