It's amazing what a difference a few years can make. A few years ago, still dealing with the shock of motherhood without training, I wrote a post about avoiding large groups of women like the plague for fear of being exposed as a fraud, and wondering how one learns what a real woman/mother is supposed to know?
Flash forward 3 and 1/2 years and it is these very same groups of women that quite possibly may save me. Guess I got over the estrogen fear.
Well, mini grew up. And started school. And there were classes and birthday parties and playdates. Somehow, we were lucky enough to end up in a place where we actually like the moms. And then, things started getting hard. Really hard. The kind of phase you're supposed to look back on those times and pat yourself on the back for the resilience you have in making it through to the other side. I'm still waiting for that part. But I haven't waited for, is much-needed support from my girlfriends.
Rather than mocking my cluelessness when it comes to so many things, these peep-e-lehs have asked me for food advice, bending over backwards to figure out how to feed mini at their place. They've watched her when needed, they tell me what classes and activities we should consider. They have taken mini and I into their home on weekends, snow days, holidays, even traveled with us on vacation. Without fail, someone checks in daily. They read my writing, and drag me to plays, ballets, movies, dinners, drinks, even shopping when I didn't want to go (can you imagine!?). They make the manicure appointments, they lend me books, they listen and they make me laugh. And they've (gasp!) trusted me with their own children.
Wait, what was that last part?!
That's right. We seem to have passed the motherhood hazing ritual that is the 5-and-under phase, so I guess one doesn't need to know every 1950s thing to be a good mother. I still can't do any of those "female" things I wrote about years ago, but I'm a damn good baker as long as you have 6 free hours and are willing to clean up a huge mess. And while I'm still not fully versed in the etiquette involved in making playdates I'm trying.
So this one is a thank you to my girlfriends who have embraced me as part of a larger community that is motherhood in general. Thank you for your support, your patience, for laughing at my jokes, for your funny and touching and educational updates, and for teaching me that even though things might not always be easy we will always be okay.