World of moms

'Girl world' photo (c) 2008, Angel Luis Gonzalez-Bonilla - license:

I am not a mom, but I live in a world of moms.  With only a couple of exceptions, my closest friends are moms, so this means I spend about half of my week in the company of their little people who need diaper changes.  I have had conversations about breast feeding, and sleep patterns, and developmental milestones.  I have eaten Cheerios, and raisins, and rice cakes that are soggy from being in little kid fingers.  I have learned how to change a diaper, and set up a pack and play, and heat a bottle.  I have become well versed in the language of Eric Carle, and Sandra Boynton, and Dr. Seuss.  And I know the beauty of little kid laughter, and the healing that comes in little kid hugs.

I am not a mom, but I live in a world of moms.

And you have to know, you moms out there, I think you’re amazing and I think your kids are amazing.  I think you’re strong and compassionate and self-sacrificing, and you have to know that I feel really privileged to get walk alongside you and your kids and watch you be mothers.  I have learned so much from you, and I think I’m only coming to realize how much I need you.

I need you, you moms out there. I need you to talk to me about sleep patterns, and baby food, and the developmental milestones your kid is hitting. I need to be allowed to babysit, and stack Megablocks, and eat raisins, and read Little Pookie books.  And I need to wash your dishes, and mop your floors, and clean your bathrooms.  I need to do those things that you don’t have time to get to because you’re busy being a mom, changing diapers and stacking Megablocks and reading Little Pookie books.  And I need to do these things because you’re my friends and I love you, and it’s really that simple.

But today, in the aftermath of Mother’s Day, I need to acknowledge just for a second that I live in a world of moms, but I am not a mom and that sometimes makes this world difficult to live in.  Sometimes I get annoyed with Little Pookie, and sometimes I get up and make a cup of coffee when you talk about breastfeeding because I just cannot talk about your boobs anymore.

Sometimes I feel like you’re on the cool kids team, and you’re kind to me by letting me play every once in awhile, but I’m not really a part of it.

So, sometimes I’m going to bail on you, and I need you to know that I’m not doing it to be rude, or because I’m angry, or because I don’t want to be one of your people.  I’m doing it because sometimes, to be the best friend I can be to you and your kids, I need to sit all alone at a Starbucks, and drink a latte, and write.  Sometimes I need to read a novel, and ignore my phone, and pretend that no one else in the world exists. And sometimes I need to sit in a bar, and drink a Michigan beer with an orange in it, and talk about feminist literature, and former professors, and yes, beagles.

Today, in the aftermath of Mother’s Day, this is a word of encouragement to all my friends – to the ones who share their kids and the ones who share bar stools, to the ones who talk about breastfeeding and the ones who talk about feminist literature – you are awesome women, and I need you.  And I certainly wouldn’t be who I am without you.

Thank you all for letting me into your worlds.

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