I woke up this morning and discovered Toby couldn’t move. His back had given out. He spent the better half of the morning hunched over the table, pale as a corpse, groaning into his bowl of uneaten cereal. He spent the hour before that fighting nausea while perched over a toilet bowl.
I had to hit the ground running. I made Em breakfast while he played in his closed, safe quarters. When I turned around to put him into his highchair, I discovered he had been playing in cat vomit.
“It’s organic.” I thought and washed his hands.
I left the apartment at 8:30 first making sure my husband wasn’t going to die. I left him lying flat on his back, still pale and unmoved, groaning. I told him to cancel work and our reservations for tonight. He was in no position to move. Of course, he refused.
I headed to McCarren Park to meet the other mothers for a weekly workout. This was my fourth session. I had missed it all last week. I wasn’t going to miss it again. Plus, I want Em to hang out with other kids. He must get tired of looking at me all the time. I know that I do.
Five of us showed up today, plus our trainer. It was hot but that didn’t stop us. We did push-ups, pull-ups, lunges, and tummy work. We jogged and talked, all the while exchanging stories about motherhood.
I’m not one for all-gal groups or groups for that matter. I haven’t ever been one for all-gal groups. (Except for soccer!) There’s a reason we gave up two R.E.M. tickets in order to have a quiet dinner out instead. That’s why I don’t go to BlogHer; I know I’ll clam up, expose a less than attractive side of myself, a side I have grown to despise but am forced to live with.
But this all-gal group feels different. I’m feel comfortable with the women who attend these weekly workouts. I enjoy hearing them talk. I can’t put my finger on why they’re different from, say, the women I met in the park a few weeks ago. But they are. They’re very different. Perhaps coupling group meetings with physical activity allows for more easygoing conversations?
I don’t know.
But I feel positively wonderful right now. Sure, I’m lightheaded from having only consumed one of my 21 allotted WeightWatchers points for the day. (Did I just write that?) But I feel great.
I had not one, but three adult conversations and all of them took place before 10 AM. I had them with other mothers. And I let myself relax while doing so.
(Maybe I’m different?)
I know I probably don’t say this enough, especially on here, but I have a really great life. I have a caring husband whom I trust and love with all my heart. I have a son who makes my heart ache and whose smile and eyes I discover for the first time every day of my life. I have a family that is hilarious and weird and I feel very close to them even if some of them moved all the way to China.
I’m a mother. And sometimes it’s not easy. Sometimes it’s downright lonely. Sometimes I want to sob into my hands and feel sorry for myself. Sometimes I leave the house, both shoulders draped in baby vomit but I wear both stains like war medallions—motherhood medallions of war.
All I know is this: today, I feel happy and hopeful. I love that I found at least five other mothers willing to laugh out loud—in public—because someone else just nonchalantly admitted that they caught their daughter digging through (and sampling!) their rabbit’s litter box.
Humility and motherhood go hand-in-hand. And I think we’d be a whole hell of a lot happier, mothers of the world, if we’d just admit it.