Now that the weather is (kinda, sorta) springlike, the park across the street from my house is busy once again with walkers and strollers. There is a teensy, tiny, ancient, Asian couple that does at least three laps every day, like clockwork. There are the requisite dog walkers. There is a woman who pushes a child in a wheelchair, fast. I know she's doing it to get a workout but sometimes it looks as if she is trying to run away from what must be a stressful daily grind. Or, I think to myself, maybe the child loves the feeling of flying, and his mom pushes him as fast as she can to grant him that pleasure, that freedom.
Of course there are the other mommies too. There must be a new moms' stroller-cise class meeting nearby because the Snap-N-Gos and the huge travel systems come in big clumps at mid-morning. In waves of two and three and four the women pass my window, pushing and chatting and willing those postpartum pounds to drop off.
When Jo was a newborn I'd drive to Hoboken (just down the river from where I lived, but more gentrified) to stroll with the mamas there twice a week. I loved having something to do, someone to talk to, store windows to peek in on my way back to the car. The other moms were friendly and we were all in that same new-mom boat, figuring everything out.
I always felt just outside the circle, though. I didn't live in their neighborhood and I didn't frequent their other haunts, share their pediatricians or breastfeeding groups. I wouldn't run into them on the street on days we didn't stroll together. And unlike almost all of them, I'd be going back to work soon. Once I did, I only rarely had the chance to see any of these new friends again, and by the time I left the area two years later, I'd lost touch with them all.
Seeing the moms walk by my window again now makes me wistful for those days, even though I'm happy with where I am and what I'm doing. I like working, I like having children big enough to walk and talk and feed themselves, I have good friends (online and off).
Thinking about what used to be or what might have been or what still could be doesn't mean I'm regretting the way things are. It just means I might like to walk a different route once in a while, to see what it's like.
...and this has been my first Hump Day Hmm. Taken terribly literally, but I think Julie will forgive me.