I went to a Yankees-Red Sox game last week with my husband, my two stepdaughters and their significant others. The tickets were a Christmas gift to my husband, who chose me to go with him, despite the fact that he knows I don’t care at all about baseball, or any other professional sporting event. It was a reasonably chilly night in the bleachers, but I was prepared. I had tights on under my jeans, boots and wool socks, a Hot Chillys top, sweatshirt, winter coat, my favorite handmade wool mittens and a blanket. I really hate being cold.
Not long after we settled into our seats, a young woman sat down next to me and we exchanged greetings and no more. But when I pulled the blanket from the bag, somewhere around the third inning, I offered to share it with her (she wasn’t quite as prepared as I was). This gesture led to a quick “game-time” friendship, during which I learned that this woman and her husband were attending the game as an anniversary date night, while her mother watched her “miracle” baby. Her 20-month-old daughter was conceived after many, many attempts and they almost lost hope. My baseball friend had been a victim of leukemia when she was just 13 and was told that she could never conceive or carry a child.
Soon, she was showing me pictures of her beautiful and precious baby, telling me all about the child and sharing her own hopes of getting lucky one more time to carry and deliver another baby. The love that this mom had for her child was overwhelming. She began to ask me about my experiences as a mom and raising my girls to adulthood, and started sharing stories about her own mom, who had a sight disability that left her unable to drive. We were so caught up in all the mom-ness, wrapped in the same blanket, that when the eighth inning rolled around and the Sox were down by double digits, we realized there weren’t too many people left in the seats around us. My new friend stood up and gave me a huge hug as she left. I understood that the connection we had was simple – we were moms.
That same night, I had one other random mom experience that left me feeling the same connection, though in a different way. While I was checking into the hotel before the game, a young Indian woman came running from the lobby elevator carrying her unresponsive toddler in her arms. She was screaming and crying, in a language that was not her native one, that there was something desperately wrong with her baby. “My baby. Help me. Something wrong. Help my baby. Oh, God, help my baby.”
Hanging on to her skirt was another small, fearful child. In seconds, a man appeared and announced he was a nurse and took complete control, calming the mother while laying the child on the counter. This event was happening just a few feet from where I was standing and I was petrified, because I thought the child was dead. I cried for and with this mother.
“He is OK,” the nurse said. “He’s having a seizure, but he is OK.” The ambulance was there in minutes and I learned later from the front desk that “everyone was OK.” It was such a relief to hear that.
As you read this issue of Maine Women, I hope that if you are a mom, have a mom, or know a mom, you can think about this universal connection that mothers (for the most part) share. To all of you, Happy Mother’s Day and from my heart, I say thank you for being a good mom to your kids – it matters to all of us.
Lee Hews, Publisher