A new friend

Apr 07

About a month ago, I took the girls to the book fair at Maren’s school.  One small detail amiss: we were one week early for the book fair.  After one lap around the school and no sign of books, we asked the lovely secretary where the book fair was, and she clued us in that we should come back next week.  Whoops.  Mom of the Year, right here, people.

The girls and I stayed at the school for another forty-five minutes.  Greta’s witching hour is in that pre-dinner window, and walking around an elementary school is eye candy for all three of us.  Maren, once she got over the devastating news that Mommy-got-the-wrong-day-for-the-book-fair,-but-Hey!-we’re-early,-not-late-so-this-is-a-good-thing was delighted to show us around her turf.  Greta had her first drink (nearly a bath) in a drinking fountain.  Maren showed me her favorite school “fings” and I am reminded that there are so very few little baby things about her anymore.  I love her baby “fings” but I love the little girl she is growing to be: smart, funny, inquisitive, sensitive, and kind.  Greta has no idea that the school is not her terrain, and she, too, walks around as if she owns the place.

On our fourth (or so) lap around the hallways, another Mom-and-child pair passed us.  We were meandering, they had purpose.  On our fifth lap around, we paused in the lobby to look at books on display, and the purposeful mom, now with two children, said, “Are you Jen?”

Flabbergasted, I said, “Yes, but how did you know that?”

She laughed and said she reads my blog, she knows someone who knows me, and she saw me on the news.  She just knew it was us when she saw us wandering the halls.  I think we were destined to be friends.  Until she saw me, M and G in the hallway of the school, she had no idea we lived in the same neighborhood, or that we had daughters in the same school.  We had a great little conversation, and I liked her very much.

At the book signing event the other night, that same stranger mom friend walked up to me again, and said, “Hi, I met you at school last month, would you like to hang out with us while we wait for Glennon?”  And I did.  My friend showed up and the two of us spent the evening hanging out with fun new friends.  We talked about baby names and birth order and living the Mom Life.  It was fun.  I’d like to be in a book club with those girls.

It’s hard for me to figure out what to say sometimes.  I go all seventh-grade-geek-out-awkward because I am suddenly self-conscious that this person knows a heckuva lot about me, but I know next-to-nothing about her.  I don’t get recognized by strangers very often, but it is one of the most. crazy. experiences. to look at and talk to someone who has prayed for you and cried for/with you and you don’t know anything about them.  Except, I do kind of feel like I know her, and she’s amazing.  Because she gives a stranger time, love and prayers.  Amazing.

I think the moral of the story here to you non-Internet-over-sharers, is to please, do what this woman did: walk up, say hello, and introduce yourself.  Because I so desperately want to know and be friends with you.  You have given me so much Stranger Love, after all, and I have a lot to learn from you.


  1. Peggy /

    There’s always room in life for another new friend. I spent the first half of my life being painfully shy. It wasn’t until my senior year in high school when I deperately needed a class that promised an easy A, and signed up for a speech class, that I discovered the fine art of “making small talk”. That class changed my life. Now instead of hiding away in the corner trying NOT to be noticed, I actually look for the “loners” to befriend. The rewards of doing so have been huge. I SO agree with you, Jen…that next new face you see in a crowd could end up being the most amazing person you’ve ever had the courage to meet!

  2. I’ve never commented, but I “met” you through Glennon and I’ve been reading every blog entry since the day she linked you. We’ll likely never meet (I’m a Virginian), but I’ve prayed for you, and cheered for you, and I recently passed on your tips for surviving radiation to a friend who’s fighting cancer. She had never read your blog, but she’s a reader now too. So there you have it – an introduction. And I’m a redhead and a mom too. So we’re clearly twins. 🙂 Keep writing – you’re so talented!
    :)MK Gregory

  3. What a delightful surprise! I guess you weren’t too early after all. It was perfect God time! 🙂

  4. I am also one of the many women that “met” you through Glennon, and I have to admit that I now consider you part of my own personal breast cancer support group. At the time that I first read your blog, I was in the process of finishing up my own year-long treatment for breast cancer, i.e. double mastectomy, chemo, radiation, hysterectomy. When I was diagnosed, I had a couple of friends that gave me a journal in order to write down the many thoughts and emotions that they knew that I was bound to have. I hate to admit that those journals remain empty. I have just never been much of the journaling type. Then I discovered your blog, and I suddenly found someone who had done such an amazing job of writing about the very thoughts and emotions that I would have if I had ever gotten around to using those journals. You can never know what a blessing it has been to read those blogs and find comfort in knowing that someone somewhere knows just how I feel! I have obviously never met yet you, but yet I feel like I know you so well. Thank you, friend for sharing your life with us!

  5. Chantol /

    Jen, I too have been following you since Glennon linked to you. I have always kept up on your story and YOU ARE AMAZING!

    I volunteer with Power of Moms and wanted to give you an idea for a “book club” type group to do with your wonderful friends…it’s called Learning Circles and it is amazing. My Learning Circle group has been a breath of fresh air the last few years. In fact, I am taking a few of them to Glennon’s book signing in Seattle this weekend and am SO excited.

    Anyway, here is the link to the Power of Moms Learning Circles should you want to ge a group together. 🙂