At this point, I'm feeling good. I put my sunglasses on, throw a couple of fist pumps in the air, and I'm on my way. Hell, I think to myself, I'll even splurge for an expensive latte. Pumpkin.
At the coffee shop, I'm listening to the cool and groovy singer/songwriter being played this morning, and I can't help but hum along, even though I don't have a clue who it is or what they're singing. It just feels right, you know what I'm sayin'? Like a scratch in the record of awesome Friday mornings, all of that grooviness comes to an abrupt end.
I'm standing in line in front of a couple of women talking about/lamenting parenthood. No worries. I'm right there with them. I'm with them when they talk about the mysterious cheerios that appear from nowhere when you know you haven't given your kids--or even bought--the cereal in weeks. I'm with them when they're talking about painstakingly cleaning the kids' rooms only to turn for a split second and turn back to a completely destroyed space. Okay seriously, how does that happen? It's a little Sixth Sense. You know, like that scene when the mom turns in the kitchen and a second later all of the cabinets and drawers are open. Creepy. I'm even with them when they talk about being out somewhere and having to change a diaper without wipes and improvising with what's on hand. Hey, I think we've all been there, and I'll leave it at that. But then...One woman asks the other, "When does this get better? I mean, when does it end?" and the other woman responds, "It doesn't." IT DOESN'T?? That's what you give her? Okay, what the hell kind of friend are you, lady?
I almost, ALMOST, turned around to offer up the response I know she so desperately wanted--nay, NEEDED--to hear. But then I would have had to admit I had been eavesdropping, and that's just not cool. So, instead, I decided to write a note. Not just to her, but to all of the friends out there who make this mistake..cuz it sucks.
A note to the well-intentioned (I hope) but misinformed, foot-in-the-mouth friend:
"It never ends. You always..." Yeah, we know. We get that giving birth triggers that you're forever my responsibility, and I will always worry about you no matter how old you get and parenting is always work thing in us, BUT... you know what we really mean when we ask you, "When does this end?" usually uttered in the most pathetic and pleading voice as we stand before you with unkempt hair, stained clothes (stained by vomit, poo, or snot in all likelihood) and in a moment of utter despondency. You know exactly what we're asking you and why. And frankly, we are insulted that you're pretending that you don't just so you can use it as an opportunity to tell us how much more you know about [insert parenting topic here] than we do. We can respect that you seem to have been there and done that, but at our low point, when we just need a mofo to tell us "hang in there, it gets better" you offer up NEVER. Screw you!
The friend who needed your support and you handed out bupkis.
These are the same women who seem to come up to you when you're pregnant, touch your belly without asking and then say, "Wow, you look like you're about to pop." WTF? On what planet does that seem like an appropriate thing to say to someone...anytime...let alone someone hormonal and miserable with a hostile body takeover and loss of control of bodily functions?!? Toward the last weeks of my last two pregnancies, I would have to mentally prepare myself before walking out the door, to keep me from losing it. Telling myself, they mean well, they mean well, they mean well so that when someone would come up to me (and they always would) and say things like:
- You're still here? No, I'm a fucking mirage.
- You look so tired. This is complete bullshit and a sugar covered way of saying that you think I look like shit. I think I could respect you more if you just said what the fuck you meant.
- You're never going to make it to 9 months. You're never going to make it out of here if you make one more comment like that.
I wouldn't go crazy pregnant lady on their ass and do something like this:
Sorry, coffeehouse low-moment mother, that you had THAT friend with you this
morning. And just so you know, it does get better. Way better.
Toddler years are awesome and exhausting and joyful and painful and frustrating
and soaked in bodily fluids and laden with expletives and beautiful...and it
goes more quickly than you even realize.