An Open Letter to the Mum in the Park
Dear Mum in the park,
I’m sorry that when you tried to talk to me I probably came across as being rude. I’m also sorry that when your little boy went near Clem she ran away crying. I’m not sure why she did that, she doesn’t usually. Her reaction just made me want to run away quicker than I was already trying to. Unfortunately you couldn’t see how anxious I was getting so decided to follow us around the park. I’m sure you didn’t mean anything by this. It was probably just a coincidence that we were going to the same exit. But I found this horribly awkward as well.
What I actually wanted to do was be polite, say more than hello and maybe have a normal conversation for once but instead my anxiety got the better of me. I turned into a mess who could feel herself getting redder the more questions you asked. My heart started beating faster as I had to answer those questions. I struggled to find the words. It was at this point Clem burst into tears as your little boy ran towards her screeching and waving his arms around. I think he scared her but I knew he was just excited. He had found a play mate.
As I cuddled Clem telling her it was ok, you came over to check if things were alright. My answer was a short yes, fine thanks and I definitely came across as rude. My anxiety and awkwardness got the better of me and I just wanted to run away as fast as I could. My heart was still racing and now I was feeling twice as bad for not talking to you. You are probably the same as me – a stay at home mum just looking for a normal conversation.
We go to the park almost every day, apart from half term when it’s super busy. Usually it’s pretty empty, Clem runs around and I chase her. The thing that makes this even more awkward is I know this isn’t the first time we have interacted with each other in the park. Last time you smiled and I could cope with that. As soon as you said hello and started asking questions about Clem, I panicked and mumbled a few words out at you. I wish I hadn’t done that. I go over in my head what I should have done. If there is a next time, maybe I won’t. Although I’m fairly sure the next time you see us, you will either go the opposite way or just smile.