Tallu and I were walking down Germantown Ave a few weeks ago when we ran into a mom and daughter who looked around our ages. The mom (I'll call her Lana) and I exchanged pleasantries, gushed about how cute our daughters are. The next words from Lana's mouth stopped me:
"So, do you wanna get together sometime, to talk and for the girls to play?"
My head was spinning between the heat and this being the longest conversation I'd had with another human being all day, and I heard myself saying "YES!" The next thing I knew we were exchanging cell phone numbers. We spent a good portion of the afternoon together at the lawn next to our local library, where another mother and her two older children stopped to play. Lana struck up a conversation with Jill, while I sat back, ate my banana, and watched Tallu crawl on the grass. I didn't join their conversation, because I was tired of networking- collecting one stranger's phone number was enough for one day.
I did see Jill at the free day of play at that cafe. I said nothing because I was there to play with Tallu, not pick up moms. A week later I saw Jill at Mt. Airy Day- we were in the same food line- and we acknowledged each other, introduced ourselves, and said we'd hope to see each other again soon. Meanwhile, after much phone tag, Lana and I did meet up yesterday. We had a great time, our daughters had fun playing with each other, and I've invited them to join Tallu and I at the zoo and the Please Touch Museum.
So, what's the difference between Lana and Jill? Here's the ugly truth. Lana is a young, newly-married biracial woman, staying at home with her 19-month old. Jill is homeschooling her children, and is an older, white mom. I came a conclusion that I would have more in common with Lana than Jill based on visuals. Is that fair? No, it's not. But that's what I did.
Women of all across the spectrum need a community that reflects them. That day I decided I needed to reflect the melanin. Frankly, I do have a diverse community of young mothers I can call on, and meeting Lana and Jill reminded me: I don't need to cruise the streets for young moms. I have them in my cell phone, on Facebook, in Philly, in NY, in Seattle. I just need to reach out to them more often.