Love You Long Time, Ladies

Posted: May 13th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Friends and Strangers, Holidays, Mama Posse, Mom, Other Mothers, Parenting, Preschool | 14 Comments »

Last week my kid’s hippie preschool had a “Mothers and Others” breakfast. Because if they didn’t include “others” some crazed PC parent would be enraged and offended and break all the windows and set the garbage cans on fire. Then go live a tree for ten months to protest.

Yawn. Just another day in Berkeley.

The breakfast was lovely actually, and one of the mothers—or maybe she was one of the others—was telling me her four-year-old has been asking a lot of heavy questions lately.

“So the other day she says, ‘What happens to you after you die?’”

“And I tell her, ‘You know, that’s a very good question, Lindsey, but I don’t know really know the answer.”

The mom looks up, “So she says, ‘Well why don’t you just Google it, Mom?’”

Honestly, I was about to give the woman the very same advice. (I always thought that Lindsey seemed like a smart kid.)

Instead I recommended the mom get a tattoo of the exchange. I was willing to get a matching one. I mean, some of these gems you’ve got to write down to remember. Others need commemorating in a more lasting manner.

As mamas I love that we have a front-row seat to all this crap. We work damn hard for the access, but times like those help get you through the day.

Ever since getting my very own C-section scar, I’ve been goony with adoration for mothers. I realize it’s narcissistic that it took me having to become a mom to appreciate all my mother did, but I’d guess I’m not alone.

I’ve learned a shit ton from my friends over the years, but I’ve found the mom-friend provides a unique level of intimacy. Hell, I’ve shared tips for unplugging breast ducts with total strangers in the produce aisle at Safeway. Imagine how I am with mamas I know—and love.

Today I want to honor the moms whose wisdom, talent, humor, and guilt-free ability to drink during playdates has dramatically improved my adventure in motherhood.

Like my friend Mary. Why spend the money on an overpriced plastic Barbie Dream House, when you can make one from a shoe box? It’s brilliant. She’s also happened to take every beautiful photo of my family that I could never take myself. When I’m sitting in a nursing home in my own diaper some day, I’ll be fondly looking at photos Mary took of my family, and blasting Glory Days REALLY LOUD from my clock radio.

And Megan? She taught me about the transformative powers of drinking a cold beer in a hot shower at the end of the day. It’s the modern mother’s Calgon bath. If you’ve never done this, I beg you to try it right now.

My friend Sacha took her kids to museums when they still had their umbilical stumps intact. And I’m not talking about kiddie museums, though she does those too. Those kids know their way around The Asian Art Museum and The De Young like most kids know the playspace at Chuck E Cheese.

I have another friend named Megan, and it’s the weirdest most impressive thing. Every time I’ve seen her daughters outdoors—in photos or in the flesh—they are, get this, wearing HATS. Like, they keep them on their heads. I don’t know what more I can say about that other than, wow. I think Kate wore a hat for 20 seconds once. It was one of those pink and blue striped caps they stick on newborns in the hospital. Even though she couldn’t focus her eyes she clawed that thing off her head nearly instantly. And hasn’t worn a hat since.

My neighbor/friend/walking partner Jen is the cleverist, most creative, all-natural homemade kinda mama I know. Luckily she lives next door and my kids often glom onto her fabulous sewing, rubber stamping, or gardening projects. Her kids come to our house to watch TV.

And Becca—wait, is this starting to sound like that B-52s song 52 Girls? (Don’t worry, it’s not the extended dance mix—it’ll be over soon.) So Becca is a triathlete, ER doc, the first lady of Surly beer, and… I swear there was something else. Oh, right! She has FOUR YOUNG BOYS. Quattro. And a puppy. Becca is my in-the-moment mama role model. Her boys ask her to read Harry Potter, play Candy Land, or build forts ALL DAY LONG—when she’s not at work pulling forks out of people’s eyeballs, that is. Becca always says yes.

If everything goes according to my plans Becca and I will plan a wedding together some day. For our kids, I mean. I’m not professing my love for her here. At least not that kinda love.

My sis-in-law Lori is a military mother o’ two. Her husband’s gone tons, so she cares for their kiddos and cooks like Betty Crocker like it’s no big thing. She’s the master of the early bedtime, which is a brilliant alternative to strangling your children when it’s been a long day.

Lori’s family moves a lot, on accounta the way the military does that to you. That gal can unpack a house and have her kids enrolled in the local school in, like, 20 minutes. It’s really quite impressive.

While we’re at it my neighbor Brooke is a military mama with a deployed son. There are yellow ribbons round her old oak trees, for realz.

My hat goes off to both you mamas.

And here’s to all the moms who I’ve openly—or in a more closeted fashion—adopted since my own mom left the planet. (To be clear, she died. She’s not an astronaut.)

France Demopolus’ kitchen table is where I’ve felt unconditional love since I was knee-high to a grasshopper. If I could make my home this way for even one of my kids’ friends, it’d make up for other things in my life, like not competing in the Olympics or never having gone to summer camp.

And my mother-in-law Peggy has wiped my children’s butts, folded my family’s laundry, and drank white wine with me at the end more days than I can count. She’s also told me more than once, “You’re doing a great job with those girls.” And whether or not she’s been paid to say that, it’s amazingly good to hear.

I’m totally out about my adoration for my friend’s mom Claudia. She’s an elementary school teacher, a reading expert [swoon], and a world-class grandma. And if you ask her how an 8-hour drive was, she lights up like you’re asking about her wedding day and says, “So. Much. Fun.” The woman has a good time getting her teeth cleaned, I swear. I wanna live like her.

Enough of my ramblings. It’s probably time for you to ring the bell for another mimosa or foot rub. Or if you’re a dad, to peel more grapes for your wife. Or pull that B-mer with the big red novelty bow around to the front of the house.

The way I see it, being a mom on Mother’s Day is like getting an Oscar nomination. It makes me want to say what an honor it is to even be in the company of these talented, amazing women. And I’d also like to thank Harvey Weinstein.

Don’t forget your sunscreen today, and grab a light sweater, honey, and I’ll see you back here in a couple days. xoxoxo


14 Comments on “Love You Long Time, Ladies”

  1. 1 Mark said at 9:10 am on May 13th, 2012:

    Peeled grapes? Can’t I just run them through the juicer for you?

    Happy Mother’s Day, honey.

  2. 2 kristen from motherload said at 9:30 am on May 13th, 2012:

    Yes, honey.

    With a little bok choy too, please.

  3. 3 claudia said at 5:16 pm on May 13th, 2012:

    Oh Kristen, you are a fabulous mom, and heartfelt mama, and a classic mother. Never, fear, you are raising some mighty fine and powerful young women. You are full of love, full of heart, and inspired. You will grow these darling girls into women who will blow you away. I know this from experience; you are firmly on the path with heart. And, you are damn funny. Blessing to you and your everlovin’ Mark, and your gifted, darling, talented, cute, rosy-cheeked and intelligent daughters. Happy Mother’s Day to you my sweet heart! So glad I know and love you! Claudia

  4. 4 Megan (not the one that drinks beer in the shower) said at 5:51 pm on May 13th, 2012:

    Wonderful mother’s day tribute Kristen. Love your photo of yourself you put up and am really enjoying your blog!!! Happy Mother’s Day and I know you rank right up there with all the other “Mamas” you admire :-)

  5. 5 kristen from motherload said at 3:37 am on May 14th, 2012:

    Big hugs to you, Claudia!

    Megan (not the one that drinks beer in the shower–but really should try it some time), so v happy you’re reading! Thanks for the kind words. I hate having my picture taken–as I’m horrendously unphotogenic–but Mary’s got magic in her camera, I swear!

  6. 6 Karen said at 4:44 am on May 14th, 2012:

    For the first time in my life, you make me sad that I am allergic to beer (tannen) and can’t touch it. I wonder if ice cold lynchburg lemonaide in a squeeze bottle would work well….hmmmm may have to try that tonite…

    Seriously, YOU ROCK…Hope you had a wonderful Mothers Day…

  7. 7 kristen from motherload said at 6:42 am on May 14th, 2012:

    Karen, I think a Lynchburg Lemonade would be a purrrrfect shower beverage!

    And funny thing–I was listening to NPR the weekend and some guy who wrote a book on creativity was being interviewed. (Never caught his name.) He was saying that studies have shown that the shower is a place where people are extremely creative. You’re not distracted by other stuff and you’re relaxed and warm.

    I mean, being in that state PLUS having a beer–or a Lynchburg Lemonade? It’s a setting for genius!

  8. 8 Tracy in Suburbia said at 9:07 am on May 14th, 2012:

    That was SOOO sweet. Almost makes me forgive a certain family member who is a mother but who is not my mother who told me I looked fat in a shirt I wore to her mother’s day brunch. Yuh-huh.

  9. 9 Daryce said at 11:19 am on May 14th, 2012:

    I’m loving the Motherload more and more!!

  10. 10 kristen from motherload said at 11:29 am on May 14th, 2012:

    Oh dear, Tracy…

    You should retaliate by buying her clothing as gifts and getting extra smalls.

  11. 11 kylee said at 7:21 pm on May 14th, 2012:

    Absolutely fabulous post.

  12. 12 kristen from motherload said at 7:46 pm on May 14th, 2012:

    Daryce: I’m loving *you* more and more! And I don’t even know you. :)

    Kylee: Absolutely fabulous comment. Thank you.

  13. 13 MJ said at 1:47 pm on May 15th, 2012:

    Loved this post! What a great tribute.

  14. 14 kristen from motherload said at 3:55 pm on May 15th, 2012:

    Merci, MJ! Hope your Mother’s Day was grand.

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