I have a secret.
I’ve been cheating.
I’ve been cheating on my children.
I’ve had the biggest Mom crush on a little girl at church for the longest time.
I’ve watched her since she first appeared snuggled in her car seat.
I’ve watched her as she moved to crawling, to standing, to walking holding hands, to running (everywhere), and now to dancing without reserve.
I have cooed to my sister, squeezed my husband’s hand and encouraged him to watch too.
We have all been on the sidelines of her experience, cheering her on without her even knowing we existed really.
It has been kind of lovely.
And could only be topped by finally getting in.
My little friend came to a party at our house last night and through the magic of a few American Girl Doll accessories and Littlest Pet Shop figures, I got to have a conversation with her at long last.
We spoke in hushed tones about the ribbon on the fox’s head and the fact that everyone loves cupcakes. Shen entrusted me with a story about her day. I assured her it sounded spectacular. And then the moment passed.
But this morning, I saw her again in church and when she stopped in the middle of a twirl, she made eye contact, danced a little in my direction, gave me a big smile and a wave. Just like that I am part of her world just as she has been part of mine. Just like that we are connected.
It got me to thinking about how simple and small connection really can be. It’s finding something in common (even if it is your daughter’s toys). It’s asking about the events of the day. It’s assuring people that they are having as much fun (or not) as they think they are. It’s making eye contact, and saying hello in the way that is most assuredly you.
We have so many opportunities to connect and yet so many of us feel disconnected, sidelined, lonely.
Sometimes all it takes is the willingness to have a quieter conversation about cupcakes, because really, who doesn’t love cupcakes?