The woman who is working the front desk looks up to see us and probably assumes we are there to visit a great grandparent. So she opens the door without hesitation, and I'm thankful because I can't figure out how to open it myself without bumrushing it with the stroller. I know she's probably a resident and doesn't have the scoop on all the activities, but I ask her anyway.
"Do you know where the mom's group meets here?"
She looks puzzled, her glassy eyes squint behind thick lenses, as if to say, Honey, the only mom's group here are for moms that are post-menopausal.
I'm not sure if I should waste my time elaborating, but I do so anyway, "See, I read this thing about a mom's group here? Where you can bring your baby and meet all the residents?"
A baby boomer and his father are sitting on a bench watching this go down and they say, "Wow, that's a nice idea!"
I agree it's a great idea. Which is why I've dragged my infant here in the stroller on a rainy day to look for the moms group. That meets at the assisted living facility.
The assistant director of the facility comes out and I ask her if there is a moms group that meets here. She gives me a look like Man I've heard some crazy things today, but this is the loonbaggiest thing I've heard all week. A mom's group that meets at the blue hair corral.
I tell her I've written down the information and she says she's going to show the boomer and his dad an apartment here and when she gets back, she can help me investigate this further.
So Baby Girl and I sit out in the lobby and perform ad hoc duties as the Wal-Mart Greeters of the assisted living facility. We meet Ethel who's just come back from Kohl's with a bright orange sweater. And Doris who just heard about Flo's accident, having mistakenly pushed the gas and not the brake. We meet Robert who asks Baby Girl if she, too, has come to rent out a room.
And with every exchange, Baby Girl studies the ruddy but wrinkled faces. She looks intently. They ask her if she's going to give them a smile and I think, No, I'm sorry, but you have to spread wide your dentures grin if you want a smile. She's an equal exchange opportunist. But it warms my heart, this series of impromptu tete-a-tetes. Maybe there is no formally scheduled Bridge at the facility that day, but herein we are participants in an intergenerational bridge built spontaneously at an assisted living facility - where 3 years ago there may have been a mom's group that met but whose internet site is no longer updated - on a rainy Wednesday afternoon.