"I just got a crazy idea," I said. "I think we should invite them over to eat with us. Seriously."
"Really?" he asked in the tone of voice that says "I'm game." "Then you should invite her."
"Okay. But she's ordering now, so I have to wait." But in the time it took for the waiter to take her order, I lost my nerve and said, "You go ask her."
So David walked the few feet to her table and asked her if she would like to join us. She started to decline, but David interjected and said, "Are you sure? Because we would love for you to join us."
And she did! She moved her baby in her highchair to our table and then brought herself and the rest of their gear. And she sat with us! I was amazed (still am, really). We talked while we waited for our food to arrive and continued to talk while we ate. It was a strange experience, but one I was glad to have had. Once we had all finished eating and paid our respective bills, she rose to leave. She thanked us for inviting her over and for the conversation. On the way home, David noted that it had been a little awkward having strangers eat dinner with us.
"Yes, but not as awkward as it could have been," I said.
"True. It was less awkward than if she and her baby had sat at the other table the whole time."
"You're right," I told him. "It would have been stranger not to have them sitting with us because we still would have interacted with them through our babies, but the interaction would have been superficial and meaningless."
Although it was so outside of my comfort zone to eat dinner with strangers, her "yes" gave me a bit of a boost outside of myself. And who knows. Maybe next time I'll have the courage to ask someone myself. Here's hoping they say "yes."