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Five moms sit around a café style table where pens and notebooks, a half-eaten bagel and a lone laptop fight for space. A sixth mom stands, rocking her wiggly toddler. A group of preschoolers sits doodling, giggling, and sharing phone apps nearby while a bright-eyed infant peers out of her car seat.
Amid the chaos of snack requests from the short folks and the welcomed offerings from the free sample lady, we six moms listen and talk about our new venture. Tonight the topic is our first contributions to this brand-new online publication—one that showcases our town and, hopefully, our talents as reporters, writers, editors, photographers, and observers.
A stream of milk goes airborne from the hands of the wiggly toddler, and napkins are passed down the table. Someone grabs a few straws, makeshift toys to keep antsy hands busy for just a few more minutes.
We prattle on, worrying over website layout and advertisers. We nail down contact information and sign up for errands to spread the word about the new site. Our mini day care behind us hums with the sound of bottoms sliding along the plastic bench seats and crayons being rummaged through for the perfect shade. Every so often, it seems, they send a representative to the moms’ table to complain about cookies or the need for a bathroom.
I am sure this scene is not unique to Easton. I imagine there are other Paneras or playgrounds or even library corners where parents like us show up, hungry to sink their teeth into something more than refused veggies, preschool gossip, and work deadlines. Parents who need an outlet from the day-to-day come to carve out ways to stretch their minds and talents beyond paying the bills or entertaining the kids. These are micro-communities of parents working together to find the balance between parenting, working, and playing.
While it seems that the interruptions are endless, we are undaunted and get through the eight main points on the evening’s agenda. This meeting has lasted an hour, and bedtimes are approaching. We moms, some more weary than others after a long day of work, pack up and head out. I am wondering how the other patrons have found our exit: a relief? Perhaps they have gotten a kick out of watching us multitask and make a few messes. Have they, too, watched the seamless way that mothering continued to happen while enthusiasm for writing and editing and promoting took center stage?
I am every bit as involved as the others in the excitement of our meeting tonight, but with my kids at home I am able to observe: we are all taking on new roles and flexing intellectual muscles that maybe haven’t had so much exercise over the past few years. We are hopeful and dedicated. We are the parents of Easton Savvy.