"You're not any more of a mess than anyone else is," he snorted.
He's wrong of course. He has this problem where he's always wrong when we have disagreeing opinions. I'm not calling him obtuse or anything, but he really needs to refer to past notable cases. THE DEATH PENALTY- Sarah right, Jeff wrong. PARTY IN THE USA, GREAT SONG OR ONLY OK- Sarah right, Jeff wrong. PUTTING YOUR SOCKS ON BEFORE YOUR PANTS IS WEIRD- Sarah right, Jeff wrong.
I am a mess right now, I am. I realized it as I was late for Adam's bus (again) and I had to abandon Avery on the sidewalk down the street and book it running to catch it, with Ben a bouncing ball of jello in the Ergo. "I'M HERE, ADAM! STOP! I'M HERE! I got there, finally, and one of the mothers that wait at the bus stop gave me her number if I ever need some extra help. I wanted to thank her, but I can't remember her name. All I know is that it is NOT Sabra, like the hummus and now I can't look at her without thinking about hummus and I really want to ask her name again, but I always have a fear that not being able to understand accents makes me racist somehow, like my ears have stopped listening on purpose or that I don't think knowing her name is important. I don't want to be racist, so I keep on pretending I know her name because knowing her name is important, and she's told me several times and all I know is that it is NOT Sabra. My current plan is to become good enough friends that I can text her and ask for the correct spelling to put her name into my phone. Then I will google the pronunciation of it all day long and maybe also google hummus. I really like hummus, which might be the culprit behind this whole racist fiasco.
I'm a mess every single day that I drop Adam off for school. I'm always the last mom there, pulling up right as they are about to close the doors. "GOOOOOO, ADAM, RUN!" Whenever I rush over to help him out, papers fall out of my car door. One time, a partially-eaten APPLE FELL OUT. Please don't call CPS. It was from the day before, I'm almost mostly certain. And it was his apple, so at least I'm feeding him fruits. Food pyramid, y'all.
I'm that mom at Kindergarten drop-off. I tried to pass the bus when the lights were flashing and then I remembered and got flustered and parked illegally. Adam's teacher left the kids to come and tell me I couldn't do that and I just nodded my head, partially parked on the curb and all. All of the other drop-off moms come early, They park their cars and wait by the door. If they have other kids, they're sitting nicely in strollers. I come late, park illegally, and leave my car idling and my other kids screaming. The other moms intimidate me.
There's one mom that really intimidates me. I know logically that she's done nothing wrong, that she's probably a nice person, but she scares me. She has a little girl, with the name of an ex-president, Madison, McKinley, Buchanan, something like that. She always has a gaggle of other moms standing with her and she's always discussing school policy with the teachers and aides. She's always very cool and collected and she's almost always wearing yoga pants. Don't get me wrong, I wear yoga pants too, but we wear them really differently. She wears them because she probably actually did yoga while little Grover Cleveland quietly played in the corner. I wear them because I didn't have the strength of character to face pants with buttons that morning and because I'm trying to not wear my trash-bag pants in public so much since they got a hole in an undesirable place, I'm trying, She wears them coupled with those puffy vests and a Starbucks cup and I wear them with my husband's novelty t-shirts since I'm trying not to wear my Ninja Turtles shirt in public so much since it got a hole in an undesirable place.
There are times I really wish I could be like her.
But there are times that I remember that I don't drink coffee, I don't wear puffy vests because my arms get cold and don't arms deserve some quilted goodness too? I mean, are you really that much warmer? And yes, Ben and Adam do hypothetically share parts of their names with former presidents (and Avery shares her with a character on Dog with a Blog), but it's ok that we're a different type of family. It's ok that I'm that mom.
There is freedom in failure as long as you keep trying and I know that sounds like something that Gatorade would say, but I believe it. I'm going to keep trying. I wore jeans to drop off Adam today, then I changed back into my snowflake pajama pants. I keep meaning to wash those, but then I keep wearing them instead. I changed back into jeans because I was expecting company and yes, they are THAT dirty and I'd much rather be that person, you know? I'd rather be comfortable in pajamas than sad in real pants and I'd rather let my flaws show through like the holes in my trash bag pants (why do I keep talking about pants?? I hate pants!) because my victories feel sweeter that way. I made a healthy dinner tonight, despite being a complete disaster. I yelled less, despite the piles of laundry. Isn't that neat? I kept going even when Ben peed on my shirt and laughed. I laughed back, I forgot to change my shirt for a long time, but I washed my hands. I taught the kids a little, even if I let them watch TV more. There's something that kind of smells in the basement, but I put an air freshener down there and I'll figure it out. I'll get there.
And maybe, just maybe -- don't get ahead of yourselves or anything -- maybe Jeff was a little right. I am a wreck, (the astonishing number of unanswered texts and emails testify of that), but maybe Drop-Off Mom is one too. Maybe she hates real pants too. Maybe her arms really don't get cold. Maybe she drinks her morning coffee because she's exhausted. Maybe she wears her nice sunglasses to avoid wearing make-up. That's very hypothetically clever of her, maybe we should be friends. Maybe I don't know her at all and I shouldn't project my insecurities on her or her sweet daughter. Maybe that's wrong of me to judge her, when I am certainly in a great position to be judged by others.
I will take my judgments and I will add them to the piles of pants, apples falling out of cars, flustered mornings and frustrated afternoons and I will label it "Not quite there yet, keep on trying" pile and I'll do that.
I'll keep on trying a little harder to be a little better.
In my snowflake pajamas.