Monday, June 13, 2011
Two Trailer Park Girls
Today I took the crew to my friend Beth's house to meet her new baby boy.
Adorable, perfect, squish faced little boy.
It was great to meet him and see how her other two kids have grown.
Great to see her new home and her lovely life.
It was great to make fun of her for the extensive and very adult looking encyclopedia library she has in her also adult looking "sitting room."
It was even better to see her.
I don't know what happens to us moms when we have families.
We get so sucked in that we barely have time to pluck our eyebrows on the same day we shave our legs, let alone make plans for coffee with a friend.
But Beth is a good friend. One of the best, actually.
When the door opened and she was standing there, our eyes met with a look of glee/desperation that only another stay at home mom knows.
The look that says,
"Oh thank God you're here. Please never ever leave me."
She passed off the baby. The girls shoved through and
threw off their shoes, made quick introductions and then ran off to fight over whatever they could find to fight over.
Which was everything.
We almost had to reintroduce ourselves it had been so long.
"Hi. My name is Kerri. I like coffee, writing, cooking and ACTUAL ADULT CONVERSATION THAT DOES NOT INCLUDE ASKING IF YOU NEED TO GO POTTY EVERY 20 MINUTES."
It was great to catch up, and also funny, because when it's an old and dear friend, it really doesn't matter how much time or life has passed.
You slip back into friendship as if it were a favorite pair of house slippers.
We laughed about how life had changed and then both of us fogged over and were transported.
Suddenly we were taken back to a place and time before all of this.
Before the nursing bras and nap time meltdowns.
A happy place.
When I first met Beth we were in our early 20's.
I had been attending a Bible study at a friend's house and she started coming with her then fiance.
At first, I thought she was quiet and demure. Shy. Meek.
Nice enough to study the book of John with, but not my type of friend for actually hanging out and long conversations.
Kerri is to demure as oil is to water.
That winter, the Bible study group planned a trip to Tahoe to stay in a cabin and snowboard and ski. Apparently we were also there for sleep deprivation and laughing so hard that it caused actual physical pain lasting for days.
I remember having to rub my jaws for days after that trip because of laughing so much.
Beth came along sans fiance.
Something I thought nothing of, really, until 2 nights in when she ambushed me in the downstairs bathroom of the cabin when no one else was around.
I walked in unsuspecting.
She closed the door behind me.
We hadn't even talked before, really.
That apparently didn't matter.
She was scrubbing her face so hard I thought she would remove skin. Possibly even connective tissue.
Her eyes looked like a caged animal and I thought I may need to call for help.
I didn't want to end up on the news or anything.
I knew how things like this could go. I'd seen CSI.
I didn't say a whole lot as she barricaded the door, but then she just started unloading.
She must have taken a dose of Meek-Be-Gone, because she talked.
She bore her soul while I just sat there and blinked and then she asked for advice and I gave it. Thus began our pattern.
One thing I'm good at is opinions. It's a gift.
That weekend, as we left, I had a new friend for life and she had, well, broken up with her fiance.
And they lived happilly ever after.
Thus began the pattern of us sequestering ourselves in small spaces and talking through major life decisions with ferver.
Mostly it was me listening as she told me all her grand proclamations and new plans.
The plan to buy her convertible.
The plan to sell her convertible.
The plan to get a dog.
The plan to get rid of the dog after it leaped from the aforementioned convertible onto a freeway overpass while she was driving.
The plan to drive across country with a boyfriend to live at a skydiving school in New York in a commune style tent and sky dive all the livelong day.
That one didn't last long.
It was a great couple of years.
Both of us single and carefree.
Years full of rap music and emailing back and forth when we should have been working.
We pierced our noses together.
She was the church secretary - which was hilarious in itself.
We used to barbecue every other day and stay out all night.
We once totally swept a contest on the radio for concert tickets by writing the most fabulous rap, ourselves, about why we should win.
We went out dancing.
It was basically completely awesome.
...........And that's what we were both thinking as we sat there holding the babies.
Remember the days.....
They are days that are still in us, though.
We could never be the type to completely let that go in exchange for bouncy seats, sippies and bibs.
She even said to me,
"Ker, in your expert opinion..."
and then I held my breath for what she thought I was an expert in.
Banging one's head against the wall?
Best possible stain remover for dog vomit?
"Did my hair look better with highlights or how it is now - solid color?"
Oh thank GOD.
I have not lost it completely.
She is actually CURRENTLY looking at me and STILL values my opinion on hair.
All is not lost.
I'm glad, because there is a list of things that we vowed to never give up:
1) Good haircuts
2) Fashionable dress - at least 70% of the time.
3) Making SOME time for who we are. As women. Not just as moms.
Maybe it's something simple, like keeping a copy of Lucky magazine in the bathroom for you to thumb through while you wait for you toddler to finally go poop instead of just sitting there playing with the toilet paper roll.
"That's enough. I SAID that's enough."
Maybe it's just making sure the spit up is at the very least BLENDED into your hair so that the line of stiffness because of wax vs. stiffness because of vomit is too blurred to tell.
Maybe it's STILL doing cat eyes even if you ARE only going to Pinercrest Park for the 40th time this month. Even if you are also wearing yoga pants.
The Kerri I am now with my three kids and husband and spinning dog is my best Kerri.
It's the one I've wanted to be since the time I was old enough to talk and tell people what I wanted to be when I grew up.
This has always been it. I wouldn't trade it for anything.
But I'm also Kerri who likes Hip Hop.
Kerri who likes driving with the windows down at night with my music turned up.
I'm Kerri who doesn't want to come in when the sun goes down.
Who likes black nail polish and girl time and not being beckoned before I'm good and ready.
I sometimes want a hoop where my nose stud is.
I like 8 Mile.
I like pool parties, and a good glass of red.
Today, bathed in children and burp cloths and memories,
Beth reminded me again of who I am, and that me is more than just one thing.
I'm a great mom - (Despite what Alena may have thought at the park on Saturday.)
But sometimes even moms need a good bass beat.