The places you'll go

Filed under: Just For Moms, Development/Milestones: Babies, Childcare

It's the day before my son's second birthday, and I am sitting at a bar stool of a pub in the city I have abandoned, a newspaper in front of me and my old friend Al across from me, regarding me with kind eyes.

"How are you, Goose?" he asks, and he means it, and his generosity makes my eyes prick; I busily fold the paper and focus on a breezy gossip page.
"I am OK," I tell him, and I half-mean it, if I suppress the fact that I will miss my son's official entrance to toddler hood - that on his second birthday he will be with a lost part of the family that has broken off, melted away from me.

I am a fish out of water here, in a place where I worked for so many years, hung out with friends at for so many more. I have come by for a half-pint, to say hi to Big Al, to get out of my dark hotel room and find some freedom, just for half an hour. But it's becoming evident that a woman alone on a bar stool with a paper and a pint is a prime target for half-drunk sports teams and lonelier patrons, and the empty seat next to me fills quickly.

"She hates rugby players,"Big Al warns the young man,"And she's too smart for you."

I smile, but I have to admit I am grudgingly enjoying the attention. I never get it when I'm with Nolan, and though a relationship is farther from my mind than speaker grinding in Vegas, sometimes I miss males -- ones that can talk in full sentences, even if a little slurry.

"What do you do?" the young man next to me asks, and I tell him, and he presses for more information: my passions, what I do for fun.
"I read, run, write,"I say, watching his body language,"Watch the birds with my toddler."

Though obviously initially keen, I watch as his body language shifts and he starts looking past my head for a more marketable opportunity.

It's fine, of course, toddlers aren't sexy and I have no intention of letting anyone into my life anytime soon. But it's disconcerting to watch myself plummet from a 9 to a 3 upon mention of the number one priority in my life.

I finish my pint, fold the paper, and tell Big Al to come visit me soon. I leave my old haunt without looking back, shocked at the place where life has led me. I realize fully that life is a continuous chain of surprises, and even when you know that, it's still surprising.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.