Did you ever have one of those mothering moments where you're stopped cold in your tracks with the realization that, "Oh my God. I am a mother. His mother. Her mother. Their mother. WOW. I am a MOTHER." I don't have them often, as I've been at this parenting thing since 2005, but every once in a while, that sensation kicks in and when it does, it packs a punch.
It happened most recently for me last Saturday night. I was at an old friend's home unexpectedly with my two kiddos in tow. Our husbands were heading out for a Bulls' game together and neither one of us had yet met the other's brand spanking new baby. We were well past due, so decided to make an early evening of it.
I call this gal my "Fancy Friend," well, because she's fancy. Not uptight. Not snooty. Not condescending. Fancy. She and her family live in a massive high rise unit right on Lake Michigan and the views will just bowl you over. I feel privileged just being in their beautiful home. The first few times I was pretty certain I would break something and never be invited back. Well, I did break something, of course, and I'm still allowed in, so that tells you something about my Fancy Friend. She's a gem.
We all visited together and traded the appropriate ooohhhsss and aaahhhhsss over our respective babies -- my boy born in September and her girl born in November.
After the husbands left we settled in and fed the babies. It was around dinner time and we decided to order in. Exhibit A of motherhood struck me. Any delivery would have to be fast, as I wanted to get the boys to sleep by 8, and satisfy a young child and a toddler in addition to us two tired moms. Dominos FTW!
Exhibit B struck me when my Fancy Friend joked that her wine glasses were dusty from lack of use. In my house, wine is served in juice glasses. I justify that by claiming it's how all wine is consumed in Italy. But my Fancy Friend, there, she knows how to entertain proper.
I have been to some epic parties at her home. Epic parties. Parties so good that you talk about them years later. Parties so good that I will remember them fondly when I'm old and in a nursing home. Parties so good that when I post about them on the Facebook, my friends who live in the suburbs have to pick their jaws up off the floor.
Yes, they were that good.
When we needed a night out during Donna's cancer treatment, these were the folks we went out with to forget our troubles. When my husband turned 40 and I threw him a surprise birthday party with a Mad Men theme, these were the folks who hosted, with the husband even going so far as to don a tuxedo for full effect. These are the folks who hire bartenders at their parties so that their guests are as comfortable as possible.
Epic parties with Fancy Friends are the best parties ever.
But here we were, and what struck me was that with two babies in our arms, two little ones roaming at our feet with toys splayed out throughout the living room, foam tape wrapped around every sharp edge as far as the eye could see, eating Dominos pizza and drinking wine out of dusty glasses, we were both happy as freaking clams.
There is nothing fancy about babies or toddlers or four year old little boys. There is definitely nothing fancy about Dominos pizza. Motherhood sure as hell ain't fancy. But it is fun and fulfilling and doesn't require you wear Spanx or high heels.
Life changes. My life has changed and my Fancy Friend's life has changed, too. That's the way this whole life thing works, when it's working.
Part of these life changes means that there are fewer (like not a single one) hangovers. That our fatigue and lack of sleep is caused by late night feedings instead of wee morning drinkings. Motherhood is the kind of life change that makes you realize the bar in the living room is the perfect height for a second diaper changing station.
It happens. Motherhood changes you. There are simply fewer gin bottles and a massive number of baby bottles. Isn't that lovely?
Happy New Year to you. It has and continues to be my absolute pleasure and honor to write these posts and have you read them. Thank you for that and may 2014 only bring blessings your way.