java mama.



cedar in the play area of java mama, taken with my palm pre phone
{view from the half moon shaped bar}

First I want to thank every single one of you that came to this space to share your own stories and experiences with the new moms, not so new moms, moms of one, moms of many or those of you that aren't yet moms but have some fears or concerns. It was a beautiful and gentle dialog and I most definitely don't feel alone in this. So many different ideas, so much wisdom, such vulnerability, philosophies, analogies...WOW. I am touched and moved beyond words.

I felt really brave yesterday walking into Java Mama. It is a darling cafe in town that just opened up, specifically for care givers to bring their little ones (ages 6 and under) so they can work on their laptop or gather with friends while supervising their children in a play area. They designed a bar in a half moon shape facing the play area, so you can sit up on the stools, sip coffee or tea and observe. Boho Boy has been wanting to stop by for ages and yesterday, on the way to the beach, we did. Oh I am so glad we did!

I'm not sure if it was the groovy tunes or the laid back atmosphere or the urban funky setting (perhaps all of the above), but the children were just all so mellow, kind and gentle with one another. Plus there were parents sitting side by side, drinking their yummy drinks and winking and smiling at one another. My heart felt like it was bursting. I really needed this soul balm.

There was this one two year old boy with curly locks of hair that kept following Cedar around and handing Cedar his toys and sitting patiently with him. I felt like he was such a wise spirit, knowing Cedar was 6 months his junior and is just now learning how to interact with others. I kept looking around for his mother, who was watching him intently but everyone seemed to be watching them. I then saw this one woman, breastfeeding a newborn. She had such a kind face and laid back demeanor, I wondered if it was her. Somehow I just had a feeling. When she came closer to me, I leaned over and asked "Is the boy with curly blond hair yours?" She said "Yes!" but with a worried look on her face. I told her "He is just being so gentle and sweet with my 18 month old." She looked like she was about to cry and thanked me. I could tell she really needed to hear that. We then watched our children together for a while and she shared with me her own stories about parks and her first born and her emotions surrounding the dynamics.

An hour later, Boho Boy and I were gathering our things and walking out. He encouraged me to go get her phone number. I felt so totally nervous and shy but as I took four steps outside, I wondered if I would ever see her again...even though she had shared with me the parks she felt comfy at and I may go, I wondered. I suppose I couldn't miss this chance to allow my son to connect with another sweet spirit and for me too.

So, I went back in and clumsily approached her and shared that I'd love to meet her here again. She blushed and said "me too!" and we wrote numbers on postcards that were left at the shop by some artists. While she was writing her number down, I was chatting with her newborn boy in her arms. He started smiling huge and cooing and chatting back and forth with me. She seemed stunned and said to her friend "Oh my gosh, she's making him smile and talk!" My eyes got teary. I said "Maybe he's just pooping" and she assured me he wasn't and that he never does this with people. It was pretty dreamy and I think it created a safeness between us.

I know this was a gift. A gift for bravely putting it out to the Universe hard emotions surrounding the park. Emotions that could have easily been judged or not received in gentleness. But you all circled and it opened up a space for each of you to share in such a raw way and to learn from one another. I honor it all. Every person and child are different and need different things but with that, we were all able to be with one another's hearts. Even if we felt differently.

Perhaps Java Mama is my in between. A small, quiet, safe and groovy place to take my child, to get him acclimated to other children...with music freely playing, encouraging him to dance and twirl. They even have a little outside play area. Perhaps for a few months I can take him here and then if he makes a few friends, I can venture into the big world of Parks where older kids roam.

I learned so much about myself through this experience. I paid attention to the mirror that was in front of me where some old wounds from my childhood surfaced. I was able to close my eyes and sit with that little girl that was shy and perhaps a bit bullied on the playground or in school by louder more outgoing children. I gave her love and wrapped her up in courage and whispered in her ear all the wonderful things she would do with her life along side family and friends.

I also learned what I am and am not comfortable with and allowed to embrace that with gentleness rather than shame. I learned to let go of expectations and to breathe into the unfolding in front of us.

In a nutshell, I've lightened up a bit and next week, I will go to Java Mama rather than the park and see where that takes me. I had not an ounce of anxiety in that place. Quite the contrary...I was filled up and energized and inspired.

I am listening to my body, my soul and my mind and it tells me where to go.