After realizing all that my mom has done for me and watching my childhood friends raise children, I think moms are amazing! Any being that can give up their body for 9 + months and then spend hours and sometimes days in labor (aka the most painful human experience) so that this new person whom they’ve never met can have a fresh shot at this thing called life, is pretty remarkable. But after the labor and birth, that’s when the fun begins, right? Every time I see my friends with newborn babies their eyes are saying, “Please help us! We haven’t been closed in six weeks,” but their mouths say, “I’m loving every minute of being a mom.” I just don’t know if I could do it, unless of course, as I stated above, my hoard of babies slept A LOT. I believe that sleep is a precious gift and the only time I want to be awaken from my REM is if someone has made delicious blueberry muffins and wants me to, “get em while they’re hot” or if Leonardo DiCaprio (circa 2000), decides he’s dated enough Victoria Secret models and is ready to get serious with a pale girl who has a mood disorder. It is then and only then, when it is suitable to wake me up.
From what I have witnessed, being a mom changes everything. Once a child enters your life, your world completely changes. You have to learn news things like “what’s a Boppy?” and “Holy sh*t daycare is expensive!” When my best friend Desiree became pregnant, she was ecstatic. I was too. Having been best friends with Desiree for 23 years, this was not only her chance to be a first time mom, but for me, it was my first chance to be an auntie (honorary, but it still counts). Her nine month pregnancy seemed to fly by…for me. Once Michael was born, I knew Desiree would be a good mom, but from what I’ve witnessed in the last year, I think she may be a superhero. Supermom to be exact! She’s able to leap tall baby gates in a single bound. She’s faster than a newly walking one-year-old headed straight for the stairs and is more powerful than a Volkswagen Jetta full of groceries. She’s able to breast feed and order a pizza while checking her work email. She’s SUPERMOM! Playdates have replaced happy hours and yoga pants are her Kryptonite.
I love seeing my best friend as a mom; however, never would I have guessed that she would be doing some of the “mom things” she does. Desiree has always been the pretty one in our best friendship. Growing up she was a girly girl. The one who didn’t like to sweat or get dirty. She always looked perfect. When we were 12 years old, we played on the Parkway Panthers softball team together. Desiree played because her friends played and I played for the W. I played as if there were scouts in the stands just waiting to sign the next great prepubescent girl to the Olympic slow pitch softball team (which only existed in my head). I recently came across a picture of the two of us from that time that sums us up perfectly. We had just played in an all day softball tournament, I was a sweaty beast. My face was flushed red and covered in sweat. My hair appeared soaking wet and most of it stuck to my face. I have dirt on my cheek, but I’m smiling with a mouth full of metal.
[On a side note, kids wear your retainers because it’s no fun Googling the cost of adult braces at 33 years old because you decided to try and eat a Snickers candy bar while wearing your retainer (only a few weeks after getting your braces off) and it cracked in half. Then instead of going back to the orthodontist to get a new retainer, you just threw it away. Then every time your mom asked, “Where’s your retainer?” You’d put a flattened a paperclip over your front teeth and reply, “In my mouth.”]
So next to me in this picture sat Desiree. She appeared as though she had been sitting in an air conditioned trailer on a Hollywood movie set for the entire day. Her hair was perfect as her baseball cap sat just above her teased bangs as not to destroy the mountain that Aqua Net built. Her skin was clear and dry. Not even a glisten of sweat as she smiled with lips glossed and a twinkle in her eye. You would have never known that she spent most of the day playing second base. Well, sort of. She caught the balls she felt like catching and occasionally ran to cover her base when the mood felt right. If she got dirt on her pants, she’d quickly brush it off and never, ever would she consider sliding for fear that it would ruin her pristine uniform. All of these reasons are why I was astounded during a walk with her and her 1-year-old son, Michael.
That morning before I met up with Desiree and Michael, I was thinking a lot about mommy-hood. Since the first time I saw Michael, my heart melted. I thought to myself for the first time, “I want one!” I smiled as I walked towards her car and saw his bright four-toothed grin. Then a wave of baby fever swept over me. As we walked around Lake Phalen. A lake we grew up near and spent our high school afternoons driving around it with our car windows open and our music loud. But this walk was different. We were real adults now. Desiree was a mom now and I was the best friend of an actual mom. It all felt surreal yet natural.
Midway through our walk, Michael became fussy so we pulled over on the walking path and stopped. Like a ninja, Desiree pulled her weapons of mass crying destruction from different areas of the stroller she pushed him around in. Blankets, sippy cups, water, bananas, diapers, wet-wipes, toys, books, dry cereal and mandarin oranges. She sat Michael on a blanket surrounded by all of these goodies and we watched as he made his way through deciding which he would choose. Desiree pealed a mandarin orange and handed him a small piece. Having a slight cold at the time, snot ran down his face and into his mouth as he sucked all of the juice from the orange slice. Then he spit it into Desiree’s open hand. Without even a second thought, she then popped the remaining soggy, snotted-on orange slice into her mouth and swallowed it. I couldn’t believe what I had just witnessed. “You know you could have just thrown that away or fed it to the ducks. You didn’t have to eat it after he sucked the life out of it” I said to her as she handed Michael another piece of orange. “Oh it’s fine. His germs are my germs. You’ll understand when you’re a mom,” she said as she again popped another spit and snot soaked orange into her mouth.
And it was at that moment when I realized, I am far from ready to be a mom. That job is beyond my current qualifications.