February 21st, 2008
As I fastened my daughter in her car seat this morning, I glimpsed a woman in the car next to mine, hunched over the steering wheel, sobbing.
My heart connected with hers in that moment and I so wanted to knock on the window and ask if she was all right.
But I didn’t.
I felt foolish. Also, if I were crying in a grocery store parking lot, would I want a stranger bothering me?
I started to wonder: are we losing our bond to each other?
We all know the busybody, overly maternal type who pokes her nose in your business and gives her advice and wants to know what you’re doing.
And I kind of like that. At least it’s a connection.
These days, I feel all too often that I float through days untethered, circling, passing, and unacknowledged.
It’s a lack of relationship. Nuclear — and extended — families scatter, move farther and farther away. Sunday dinners become perfunctory, if at all. Church sees us nod, then scatter, quickly, as if we have somewhere else to go.
And we do. But where? Inside to the television, to the room, to the computer?
Lately, I’ve mourned the loss of community, support networks, simple “I’m as you are”-ness. We fail to remember the oneness that binds us, and moms now one-up each other, women judge, men compete. What of the commonality? That we all fear for — and love — our children, we support, sometimes shrink from, and ultimately turn to our spouse? That we’re all alternately ashamed, guilt-ridden, adoring, unconditional, loathsome, nurtured, cowering, insecure, blooming?
I don’t know. I wish I’d knocked on her window. Let her know: we’re all in this together.
What would you have done?