Thursday, July 14, 2016

Mommy Mates


The abrupt voice interrupted the private concert that was going on in my head to Journey's "Open Arms" that was playing on the Post Office speaker system. 

I approached the desk with a big smile and friendly greeting. 

"What can I do for you?", came the emotionless question and response.

My friendly approach failed to break the doldrums of her day but as she weighed my package and asked me to verify that I wasn't sending bombs through the mail, her phone lit up and on the screen were five beautiful brown children. I don't know if it's socially acceptable to take a peek at someone's phone and then ask them about what you've seen but I went there.

"Are those your children?"

 She eagerly grabbed her phone and took it out of lock screen so she could show off her four handsome boys and their princess of a  baby sister and instantly the counter between us seemed to disappear and we were just two moms talking about Mom Life. I doted, she exuded pride. This is what moms do.

Then I told her that I have 8 children and with a gorgeous smile she said, "I feel like we're Mommy Mates." We laughed together (while other people in line probably grew impatient) and she want on... "You know, people see all my kids and they're like, oh my gosh! But you know because you're there."

Yes, I know. 
 We know. 

We know that while there may be things in our culture that separate us today, there are more things that bind us together. We share goals for our children, pride for who they are, insecurities as moms, and the desire for our children to grow up free from fear. We share because we're both raising humans. And we want our humans to grow up and be able to impact this world for the better.

When all of this black vs. blue vs. white is exploding in the streets around us, I'm reminded that we all have the same goals. We all want to live and to thrive. Unfortunately, we all don't have the same method for getting us to those goals and that's where it gets difficult. 

But today. 

Today it was easy. All it took was a smile and some story swapping. Some interest in others' lives and some tying of the heart strings. I know the big picture isn't nearly as simple as this but what if the big picture was made up of many thousands of pictures like this. What then?

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Life Line

The setting is my 88-year-old grandmother's house. The curtains are drawn, the carpet is shaggy and the only noise is the rhythmic squeak of her walker. Grannie is walking laps around the small living room. Every half lap or so, she stops to draw in a couple deep breaths and gathers the strength to finish the lap. Her frame is frail and stooped. And following behind is her great granddaughter, my daughter Libby. Libby has been walking laps with Grannie for 6 weeks now. She has devoted her entire summer to move in and give much needed care to her great grandmother.

 Part of that care involves the nightly rounds in the living room. Before they begin, Libby helps Grannie get up from her wheelchair and makes sure she's steady at her walker. Then she wheels over the oxygen tank and gently puts the oxygen tubes to her great grandmother's nose and carefully loops them around her ears. She sweetly let's her great grannie know that they're ready and before long, they're off. As they head into their first turn, Grannie lifts her head and smiles at me as she jokes,"this is our marathon."

Lap after lap, Grannie leads and, pulling the oxygen tank, Libby diligently follows, the two generations tethered by a tube. Grannie paves the way and Libby follows. They're going steady and they're connected.

Such is the circle of life. One generation leads and the other is to follow. The connection between them serves as a life line, just like the oxygen.

Lead Grannie, lead. And follow, Libby follow. The way has been paved for you. Run your marathon.