As a midlife mom I was in a unique position.
Most of my peers had kids that were much older, and my other friend who had just had a baby lived a city away-which might as well have been another country as mobile as I felt in those days of early motherhood.
I felt desperate for companionship. Luckily, I had some editing work from a publishing house to keep me intellectually stimulated while my baby napped, but I needed other mom friends. Ones who lived nearby.
One day I was taking my by now three month old daughter out to a postnatal yoga class (that is so not me, but I had to get out of the house), and a man got into the elevator with us. “How old is she,”? he asked me. “Three months old,” I replied. “My little girl is four months old,” he said.
Suddenly, I felt a rush of energy rousing me from my yoga-induced stupor.
“Do you live here? I need to meet your wife? My name is Estelle, what’s her name,” I questioned him in a frenzy of excitement.
He laughed. “My wife, Lauren will want to meet you, too,” he said. “Her parents live in this building, and we live a block away.” He held the elevator as I got out on my floor, and quickly wrote his wife’s name and phone number on a scrap of paper I found in my overflowing diaper bag.
“I’m totally going to call her,” I told him.
I waited two weeks and then I picked up the phone.
Lauren had been waiting for my call; We got together the next day and I met her beautiful daughter Nadia. Most importantly, I now had a local mommy friend as anxious for my company as I was for hers. A few months later I joined the national nonprofit organization, Mothers & More.
My daughter is four and a half years old today, and she still calls Nadia her best friend. Even though Nadia and her family now lives in Egypt and we only see them when they come home to visit their grandparents each summer.
And I still remember with gratitude how reaching out for a new unknown friendship gave me the support I needed to take the first step toward finding a like-minded community of mothers.