When strangers meet, there is that nervous anticipation. Wondering what this person will be like when they open their mouth. When they meet your eyes. The online forum where you met suggested that you should have some of the same ideals, after all, how many shades of breastfeeding, co-sleeping mothers are there? Rainbows! You're screaming inside. Nervous excitement. Hope. You realize how alone you've felt since you moved abroad. You're nervous that you're pinning too many hopes on the kismet coincidence that this woman happens to be passing through the same town you've run off to. After all, you don't want to scare her away with over-eagerness. She might think you're some kind of freak.
Scanning faces for that look. Not knowing what she looks like at all, but only that you've decided to meet in this park. The kids take in the playground and you take in the scattered mothers. No one meets you with that same look of expectation and they're quickly dismissed.
And then you see her walking toward you from across the grass. Like an angel. She and her papoose in a scarlet wrap and the three older children move with her like ducklings. And you adore her already.
Some friendships grow with time, linger and it's the sum of experience that builds their importance in your life. But this one erupted with intensity and passion. You permit yourself to be consumed and savor every moment of it. Her strength and beauty. That smile that comes from happiness of years gone by, so genuine it pierces you. We shared in our trials and joys at natural parenting, marriage to non-American men, and living abroad. Language and education and exploring this mad world with our children.
3 months passes fast in love. The purest of feel good hugs. Calling across the park with our final goodbyes. And that melancholic sigh when we realize our schedules are suddenly empty once again.