“Look, Mom … Here comes my friend.”

My three year old’s voice couldn’t have been more excited as we played in an otherwise empty park on a “disconnect from life” trip back to my hometown last month.

I looked around expecting to see one of my friends who happened to show up at the park with their little one that my daughter may have recognized.

Instead – I saw a Mom and her daughter walking down the street towards us.  The Mom unfamiliar – her daughter looking to be about my daughter’s age.

The minute the duo joined the playground area – the girls met up above the tandem slide… asked each other their names…  slid down their side of the slide… high-fived … and headed off giggling to explore another part of the jungle gym.  As if they’d been friends for months.

Us Moms looked at each other from our keep-a-distance spots across the play area and laughed a bit at the instant friendship that was born between the two.  And we semi-awkwardly came together with our tails between our legs to introduce ourselves to one another and asked a couple of predictable “Mom” questions.  And as our girls continued to play with each other, forcing the two of us to stay in the same general area… more conversation sparked up, and we learned more about each other, we shared stories about raising three-year-old girls and talked about our connection to the town we were in.  And by the end of the almost 30-minute unplanned playdate, we had all made a connection with each other – the girls hugged goodbye and us Moms gave a “nice-to-meet-you” wave.

On our short drive back to my parents’ house I was thinking about that interaction that went down.  And how cool it was that my daughter immediately referred to that little girl as her friend. How quickly they created a friendship. How “normal” it was for them to ask each other’s names. How they bonded on their commonality of two little girls being the same age and just wanting to have fun.  And how THEIR willingness to not remain strangers during that 30-minute timeframe caused their Moms to not remain strangers either.