Birthplace of Connection
Sleepless in Seattle
I am sitting on the cold metal bleachers at my kid’s gymnastics class, as I do every Friday for the last 3 years. It is 9:30 a.m. so ritualistically I am cradling a warm black coffee in my hands from the iconic Starbucks. If I am in jeans, that means I dressed up or all my sweatpants and leggings are waiting patiently in my laundry room for attention. My hair is in a mess on top of my head, and like every morning, I am wondering if I even looked at myself in the mirror before I left. There may or may not be mascara from the night before resting in smudges under my eyes. I made it here on time and for that, I consider this Friday morning a win.
To my left and right are two grandmas, totally put together. They were not raised in the ‘grunge’ generation of Seattle, where my appearance can be easily excused or explained. They are perfectly accessorized with posture anyone would envy. They carry soft and knowing smiles on their faces as they watch their grand-kids every Friday morning. They are social, polite, and kind. They are here with their grandchildren.
I stare at them every Friday. What do you do? I think. Where is Grandpa? Do your kids know how lucky they are? How did you have time to put on that cashmere sweater with a matching Kate Spade purse? I ask them these questions in my head every Friday; sometimes I make up the answers. But in true Seattle Freeze style, I keep to myself and keep my eyes on my kid.
Vulnerability is the birthplace of connection and the path to the feeling of worthiness.
If it doesn’t feel vulnerable, the sharing is probably not constructive. – Brene Brown
Later that day, we went to the park to play for a bit before pre-school and again I am next to a sweet grandmother and grandfather playing on the swings with their grandkid. I want this for my kid so very badly. I want this for myself, as I think of all the times my girlfriends drop their kids off at Grandma and Grandpa’s house for a date night. If I get time away from my kid, it’s because I am writing a check to someone I barely know.
Having the support of family and those who love you nearby sounds amazing. It’s something we are missing out on majorly. I yearn for regular interactions with ‘grandparents’. I want someone to call to shoot the shit with, but also ask tough questions about life and get advice on how to live it the best I can. I want stories of trials and tribulations so I don’t make them myself. I want Henley to feel loved by even more people. I want informal relationships that include unscheduled visits and unscheduled hugs.
You may be thinking mine and my husband’s parents are dead; they’re not. They live far away or are busy with their lives that they have every right to live. They have multiple grandkids and just are busy, busy folks! We are a small family of three and I can’t help but to want more connection.
The need for connection and community is primal, as fundamental as the need for air, water, and food. – Dean Ornish
I dropped my son off at preschool, and of course ran into more grandparents who are present. It got me thinking, maybe there are folks out there who need us as much as I need them. Maybe there are folks who never had kids, or their kids live far away like me. Maybe there are people out there who want more connection and more meaningful relationships.
So I reached out. On Craigslist. I decided to shoot for the moon and ask for the stars. A modern day platonic Sleepless in Seattle, if you will.
May I meet you, a person out there who has lived a lot of life and wants to share it with us. May I meet you, a person who may be lonely, like me and in need of a good hug. May I meet you, a person who likes teach me to cook or bake. May I meet a person who has it good, like me, but wants more people to laugh with, smile with and pillows to throw at.