Many parents know there is life before kids then life after kids. When children come along, you get into a new routine. Parenthood, particularly motherhood, is hard. After baby, everything is supposed to be wrapped into this beautiful bow. For women — you are expected to be superhuman. We are goddesses that can “do it” all. Friendships change; you don’t mean for this to happen. But the weight of the responsibility is as deep as the sea. Years go by, some happy, others rough. It can take months, maybe years, but you figure it out.
Then global tragedy strikes. Suddenly life changes overnight. We’ll skim over the part that there were warnings. We are now living in a Matt Damon movie where a woman ( pfff, of course) is patient zero. Or is she patient one? Whatever… this doesn’t matter. Whoever has brought upon disease — the culprit in your story is unknown. And at this point, it’s here, and suddenly the world is different. And guess what happens? You start to adjust. After all, you have small humans to watch over.
Life is weird. The first two weeks — tantrums were plentiful for both you and the kids. Being a parent, a caretaker, and now a teacher, while also juggling life…well, there have been some tears. Now one month in, you are baking cookies (from scratch!). When the toddler decides to crunch all the goldfish, makes it into a paste, smears it onto the wallpaper, while on a Zoom call, you let him. You choose your battles wisely these days. Your children’s laughter fills you up. And when quiet sets and all is working out for the day, you sit by the window while the sun pierces through the city trees, you close your eyes and let it recharge you.
Oh, the Greek tragedy that is unfolding is still present in the sirens you hear throughout the day. Like quicksand, you start to fall into the sadness — unable to move. The loss of life weighs on you, a city, the world, but you work hard to show a happy front for the ones who will remember this period of time for years to come. We are the mothers. This is our ‘job’. All the little faces are looking to us and our response. So. We force a smile.
The part that gets you through it? The calls and messages that have been coming in for weeks. Long lost friends, relatives that you haven’t spoken to since that summer trip, friends from all parts of life checking in. Angie, your high school best friend, you used to ditch class with (sorry mom) and drive up the Pacific Coast Highway to Malibu. Hair streaming out the windows, not a care in the world. Claudine, a co-worker from your first job, when lunches out and happy hours were a daily thing. Erica, your first ‘mom friend’ that got you through the early newborn nights. All the calls end the same “take care, stay safe — I love you.”
People who aren’t actively part of your life fall away — only the true stay. There is no time for grudges — you are raw, open, and not wasting a minute.
“I love you,” you say because now is a good time as ever to tell you.
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