I totally failed yesterday. I missed it big time. I could’ve made a new friend and instead I introduced myself to a stranger and left her stranded.
We were at story time at the library and El was hungry, but I couldn’t resist smiling at a gorgeous young mum with a rounded belly and a little boy at her heels as we walked out the door.
“When are you due?” I asked and she glowed as she responded saying that she was 38 weeks, scheduled for a c-section in two weeks, but was feeling like it might need to be sooner, maybe even later that day!
My hands were full with library books, a chubby hand, and a hungry baby but I smiled in excitement and said, “OH! Congratulations! I hope it all goes well.”
Even though I was stepping toward the car, she wanted to know where my accent was from and tell me that she was Malaysian and had family in America and had only moved here two weeks ago but she’d be back at story time next week and would we be too?
I smiled and said I only knew one Malaysian in America and best wishes again with the baby and we have something next week but maybe the week after? We’d look forward to seeing her new little one.
It wasn’t until I was a couple of kilometeres down the road that I realised what she’d said. They only moved here two weeks ago. All her family was overseas. This was her first attempt to make friends. And she might be having her second baby… today.
All of the things I could’ve should’ve would’ve done flipped through my head. Sure, I’m busy changing the world, but I have time to make a meal or host a play date or just be the new friend on the other end of the phone!?
But I missed it. I wanted to drive back to the library and find her and tell her or do something but the moment was gone and so was she.
I’m sure I won’t be so quick to miss it next time.
And I’m glad that my good mate didn’t miss it.
Even as I was at the library, she was in a village in PNG and she too was meeting a new mum with a tiny baby. Only this mum had tuberculosis and couldn’t feed her baby. When mums in this part of the world can’t feed their babies they don’t run down to the store and pick up some formula. Either the women in the village help feed the baby… or the child dies.
The women weren’t helping. They were afraid they’d get TB. But my girl new better…
With her own gorgeous baby on board, she took time to express some of her milk to feed this tiny little one… and even helped the other women in the village learn to do it as well. So far, they are all helping to feed this tiny life.
Even as I kicked myself for my little oversight, I rejoiced in the beauty of my friend giving life in such a gorgeous way. We women can feel so stretched and pressured, or even insecure and unsure, but the reality is, we have SO much to offer one another. So glad i can share in the joy of my friend’s success and have a precious reminder to take up the opportunities as they come my way!