Have I ever told you about the first time I met my friend, Katy?
Katy’s fantastic. Our friendship was basically destined to be. I mean the only way we met was through my sister, Katy. Yep. Same name, spelled with a ‘y’ and everything. The two Katys worked together in Texas until Friend Katy, who is originally from Ohio, moved back to Cleveland to be near family. This was about the time that we moved to Cleveland to be near family. We share a brain, the two of us.
And Katy has two girls who are almost exactly the same ages as Mags and Lil. And she just had the most precious baby boy who is just a bit younger than Ev. Coincidence? I think not.
Anyway, Sister Katy (that makes her sound like a nun, which she is not) kept pestering both of us to meet and hang out since we had so much in common. This was pre-boy babies, so I think Lil must’ve been maybe six months old? Eight months? Meh. Anyway, I was new in town and desperately needed a mommy friend, but if you’ll recall, I was struggling mightily with some serious postpartum depression about that time. I really, really wanted to have a friend, but was so beyond self conscious and self critical that I was basically too nutty to even try to meet up. Eventually we did make plans, though, and the day we were supposed to get together I was all kids of stressed.
I wanted to make sure that I looked like a normal human, so I put on makeup and wore a skirt (ha!) and I was rushing around trying to pack a diaper bag that would show that I was a good mom (whatever that entails). I’m not sure when, but at some point I looked down and noticed Maggie chugging all of my coffee from my giant mug and that’s when I knew this had the potential to be a shit show.
I packed extra pants, just in case there was trouble. There was.
Mags was SO excited, too. I mean, this poor kid had been locked in the house by her hermit of an anxiety riddled mother, so she was pumped about making a new friend. So the coffee added…I dunno…like a zillion volts of extra energy to her already excited personality. Poor kid was literally bouncing around the back seat of the car. I mean, it was like watching a kid from the 90’s after they’d chugged a bottle of Surge. Not good.
So we got there and I was all trying to look like a put together mom on the go with my jean skirt and my cute flats
and that psychopathic gleam in my eye. I introduced myself explained that, though I’m a totally put together mom on the go, my child accidentally drank a gallon of coffee. At which point, Maggie piped in with, “HI! I’M MAGGIE!!!!!” and peed all over the front doorstep.
So the extra pants were a good call…until she peed her pants again. So, yeah. Girl can’t hold her coffee.
And I’d like to say that Katy and I were BFFs from that moment on, but I was still trying too hard. Comparing myself too much, wishing I were more like Katy who seemed so comfortable in her own skin, so at ease with nursing and cloth diapering and life. Honestly, I was a little intimidated by her. I was too busy projecting my own insecurities onto her. Imagining that she thought I was lame or a whacko who couldn’t keep her kid out of the coffee.
In retrospect, what intimidated me about Katy was eventually what I learned that I needed to emulate. Katy did not get gussied up for that play date. She did not try to appear to be something or someone that she was not. She was herself and you know what? She was comfortable. It’s one of the things I love most about her. Katy is Katy. And, I’ve heard it said before that it’s pretty unfair to project our own negative thoughts about ourselves onto others. Odds are, other people aren’t thinking those things at all.
Now, I know that Katy’s going to read this and then immediately text me to tell me I’m a weirdo. And you know what, she’s right. But that’s why she loves me.
It took my awhile to get up the courage to hang out again. Actually, by the time I figured out how to stop being such a psycho, I was greatly pregnant with Ev. We met up at the zoo and I think I wore sweat pants of some kind. I know for a fact that I called Maggie by the dog’s name several times and couldn’t figure out why she wouldn’t answer to “Banjo.” In my defense, I was probably flustered because I forgot where I parked my car. That’s the real me. And that’s the me that makes our friendship work.
Neither of us is a totally put together mom on the go. We’re actually quite a spectacle when we go out together. I mean, we’ve got six kids between the two of us, so I think people may just automatically assume we’re like sister wives or something. Plus my kids are all light haired, so I think people have a hard time figuring out which child belongs to which mom.
We love it. We are like a well orchestrated hurricane everywhere we go. We are masters of tag-team parenting and we have big plans to become Amish someday so we can be barefoot and bake bread and rock babies all the time. (If you’d like to contribute to our Amish fund, we’d greatly appreciate it!)
So, moral of the story: you gotta love you being you. Trying too hard is no fun and is rarely successful. Also, don’t leave coffee mugs unattended in the company of three year olds.