I’m doing a duathlon in June, but the last time I ran was at last year’s duathlon.
So this past Saturday, I committed to getting some miles in.
I texted my Mom-Friend and told her I was on my way over:
“Can you do CPR because I’m running to your house and if Im not there in thirty-minutes, you should look for me near the tracks.”
Like lots of moms, I multi-task, but it’s mostly by default.
I needed to get to my friend’s house to see her son, David, and I needed to kick-start my commitment to my duathlon.
David was home from college for less than twenty-four hours, so I only had a small window of time to see him and it was the perfect amount of time to attempt an endurance run.
I endured, but it was harder than I remembered.
When I stumbled into their house, I thought about drinking out of the dog’s water bowl, but I stumbled into their kitchen instead and sat next to my friend at the island.
Her husband kindly served me a proper glass of water, so I didn’t have to drink out of the dog bowl.
Tilting her head backwards, she hollered into the air above her:
“David, Mo’s here. Do you want to come talk?”
That’s a loaded question, I thought as I logged it into my mom brain to laugh with her about later.
What kid – a boy no less, wants to come talk to his mom and her Mom-Friend – ever?
But every kid knows how to respond to their mom’s polite, yet rhetorical line of questioning:
David appeared quickly, but not out of obligation.
I’ve watched he and his brother, Jesse, grow up and I love them as much as I love my own two boys.
He gave me a big hug and a smile from ear-to-ear.
Unlike Little David who needed to be lifted onto the countertop, this David hopped onto it himself and engaged us in a delightful conversation; the kind that mom’s live for.
Sitting on both his hands, he was slightly hunched over.
I watched and I listened.
To the same little boy I watched and listened to in the school lunchroom and on the playground at recess, when I volunteered years ago as a school aide.
His legs dangling mid-air, alternated; kicking in and out.
Like the tick-tock of a clock, his heels gently knocked into the cabinets beneath him, rhythmically reminding me:
How quickly our kids grow up and how quickly they leave us.
Now, a confident young man, David talked openly about his life.
From friendships and relationships, to classes, cars, and careers, he contemplated his future and made mine feel brighter.
Insightful, kind, brilliant, and warm, now he was giving me advice about the road that lies ahead for me and my two boys; one, who’s about to begin the journey that David just completed:
“Don’t worry so much,” he smiled, reassuringly.
“Boys don’t think about that stuff. He’ll be fine – really.”
And I believe him.
Because he’s David.
He’s part of my tribe.
They love your kids as much as they love their own and they understand that it takes a village to raise a family.
Mom-Friends are your Tribe.
They drop everything to help whenever they can.
They don’t compete with you, they collaborate.
They root for you to win.
And they root for your kids to win even more.
They aren’t jealous; they’re joyful.
And overwhelmed – with guilt.
Whether they work inside or outside of the home, moms are always working so Mom-Friends support each other because making choices for your family is never easy – especially when those choices affect a future you can’t control and they’re attached to a life that doesn’t belong to you, ultimately.
But Mom-Friends live by the principles of abundance.
They know there’s plenty of good to go around, so they give it away – often and freely.
Because it comes back.
They carpool your kids at the crack of dawn and pick them up when you’re running late; they save you another trip to the store because the success or failure of a birthday party hinges on it.
They keep your kids overnight at the last minute and they keep your dog too.
They offer you food when you’re sick and support when you’re sad.
They let you vent because they understand.
They don’t judge, or criticize, or gossip.
They tell you what you need to hear, instead of what you want to hear.
And they ask you how you’re doing because they really want to know.
Mom-Friends remind you to breathe.
Because they’re your Tribe.
They keep your village alive, so your kids can thrive and you can survive.
Until The Farewell
“David, Do you want to give Mo a ride home?”
“Sure,” he said. “Let’s take it for a spin.”
“Thank God,” I thought. “I don’t have to run.”
His parents and I hopped into David’s new ride.
The perfect name for the perfect van, if you’re a college kid looking to road trip with your buddies.
A 1988 Chevy luxury van with interior wood paneling, crushed red velvet curtains, bucket seats that swivel, and its original VHS player.
It was cool and disgusting all at the same time, but it didn’t matter and it didn’t smell, and there are some things that a mom never needs to know – especially about her boys.
“They Grow Up So Quickly.”
It’s a pathetic cliche, but I’m as pathetic as the rest of my Mom-Friends.
So we hope for the best and we prepare for the worst.
We watch and we gather.
We listen and we love and we lift each other up.
We are the emotional core and the roots that bind our communities together; our villages.
We aren’t just moms; we’re Mom-Friends – strategically placed.
And there are tribes of us – everywhere, moving in concentric circles:
Girls, daughters, sisters, cousins, nieces, aunts and friends, who grow up to become the most undervalued resource in the world:
And still, we make the world go ’round.
Here’s to our Moms, and their Mom-Friends, and our Mom-Friends too.
Until next time,
Inside or outside, with or without kids – be a Mom-Friend.
Give away goodness – often and freely, and remember your Mom’s funny, quirky, crazy, potty-mouthed Mom-Friends.
They’re your tribe and no matter how old you get, as long as they’re around – they’ve got your back.
Share it if you believe it.
Photo Credit: Humor Me With Mo