Hi Everyone! Thanks for reading! I have several posts saved up from the past few months, so I’m planning to put them up and soon enough I will post some new, up to date writing. This is something from back in September.
Yesterday I saw a mom walking from across the street with an infant and a toddler in a jogging stroller at the same time as I was returning home from a walk with Ella. I made room for her to pass on the sidewalk, and as she pulled along side me I said, “Hi! Do you live across the street?” implying that I also lived in the neighborhood. She said “Yes,” smiled, and kept walking. I was kind of heartbroken. I will have to work a little harder to make friends here than I did in New York.
We moved back to the states from Jerusalem in August 2008 with my two month old son and after a few weeks of crashing with family moved into a one bedroom apartment in Riverdale. There was a playground directly across the street and the beautiful Wave Hill was within walking distance. At first I felt strange taking Ben to the playground to watch the bigger kids, so I wasn’t quite sure what to do with myself in a new town with a baby. I took him in the carrier on the subway to the Strand to buy a copy of Dr. Sears’ The Baby Book. While there I discovered that Ben did not like to nurse in crowded or interesting public places. I tried Union Square Park, then the Whole Foods because it was air conditioned. Ben didn’t nurse but I did make eye contact with Kate Beckinsale while trying. I love New York! But, I digress. Basically, I started out trying to take solo adventures, and while it was fun and exciting, no one can do it every day.
A week or two after we arrived we went to a local synagogue and met one kind soul who told me that someone in her building was starting a play group. Suddenly, I had a place to be. By some amazing luck, the women in that playgroup were so awesome that I am still close with a number of them today. We hit it off tremendously, getting together at parks and coffee shops throughout the week, and eventually extending the group to two meetings per week so more friends could join. I was part of the best mommy social scene I could never have even hoped for, a group of strong women who weren’t catty, cared about their parenting but didn’t judge mine, and had kids my kid loved. It was beyond ideal.
Fast forward to the present and we find ourselves in Miami. I have yet to reach out and find that playgroup, if I could be so fortunate to find another group of special women! I really hope so. In the meantime, I have been reading too many articles on the internet. I tend to be very sensitive and impressionable so I usually choose my media intake very carefully. I don’t own a TV and when I’m near one, the only channel I watch is the Food Network. I use Facebook to see photos of my distant friends’ kids, not for political activism. I am at home with my four month old daughter who doesn’t take very long naps, so I don’t have much time during the day to sit on the internet. I do have just long enough to stumble across another article about some kind of food that is terrible or the dire state of our society. Why, why do I read these articles? Do I think they make me more intelligent? They do make me more informed but they are bad for my mental health. Just ask my husband, who has been kind enough to humor me when he comes home from work and I inform him that we are giving up grains because modern wheat has been so altered from its original form that something in it binds to the opiate receptors in our brains and makes us eat 400 extra calories a day. We also must immediately get a reverse osmosis water filter because fluoride is calcifying my pineal gland. I find myself lamenting the state of education in America and wondering why we can’t live in Finland. I read a harrowing account of one woman’s miscarriage and her commentary on the horrible treatment of women in the current health care system. Did that article make me a better, smarter, more compassionate person? Maybe. But really, I don’t need this stuff running through my head when I nurse my baby. I would be better off watching soap operas!
For the next few days my husband and son will be home from school for Rosh Hashana, so I won’t have to ask myself what I’m doing each day. When they go back, I promise to use the internet to find a playgroup. While I’m looking I will only read one article…or two.