When I was little and my mom reached the breaking point she would scream, “GLADYS, call me Gladys, I do not want to hear the word Mom one more time, I will help you, but do not say Mom.” We found this hysterical and would call her Gladys repeatedly, hoping to drive her right over that edge of motherhood.
When my kids were little there were more than a few times that I flashed back to the Gladys moments. Mommm, did you? Mommm, where is? Mommm, are we? Mommm, can you fix this? No matter how tired I was, I would find, do, and fix…because that is what we do.
My “kids” do not mom me to death anymore…but I feel like I am at that same breaking point…life is challenging, the pandemic tedious, politics past the point of ridiculous. Hurricanes, unemployment, killer hornets, sharks, falling trees. We need a break. I want my friends parents to be alive and well, drinking their own egg creams instead of their kids drinking egg creams in honor of them. I want to be alone with my husband, my toes in the ocean, my hand in his. I just want peace. Peace for me, peace for those I love. Peace for you.
Can we please just hand this mess over to women? There is no doubt in my mind that they can clean up this situation. The women I know fix…they fix everything.
Thanks to a recommendation from a lovely Swooning fan, I signed up for Anne Lamott’s webinar on writing. Three hours on a Saturday in August, I will be at Fire Island, take a break from the beach and have some quiet time at the house. I’m in. Little did I know we would be in the beginning stages (yes, you read that right, beginning stages) of a world wide pandemic. I am not where I thought I would be, but I am where I am.
I am alone. I am listening to an amazing woman teach me how to write, how to read, how to be whole…how to live. It is lovely. “Waste paper and time, stare off into the vast, write down anything you want to remember, keep lists, write every day, edit what you love out…and save it, paste it onto a ‘save this’ file”…brilliance. It is healing, she is fixing.
When I was pregnant, a friend sent me Operating Instructions by Anne Lamott. It was mind-blowing, about being a parent, a loving parent…with flaws. She became a mom in front of our eyes. Now I listen to her teach me how to write. I sit in my brother’s house because a major storm knocked out our power and internet. It is quiet, there are no interruptions. I sit under the most beautiful art, alone for the first time in five months…as a woman across the country helps bring peace to my soul.
Women, moms, doers, healers, teachers…we can fix this mess. When will the powers that be realize that if you want something done, go to a mom, go to a woman…a busy woman who just needs to get it done…so she can move on and fix everything else.