Lately I’ve found myself enamored by my friends who are moms. Its funny to think about the girls that I’ve known since high school who I drove to Sonic with for after school snacks or sat in the stands with and played powder puff against. Or, the girls who I explored crazy shenanigans with in college raising some little ones of their own.
But, its more like an out of body experience thinking about them having the title we always talked about and dreamt about. More than that, for me, its been the reality of watching the layers of being a woman unfold. For most of our lives we’ve shared some form of insecurity. Most of it was related to body image. Even as little girls, we were opinionated about what colors we would wear, when we were too old for ruffles, how big our purses were and what kinds of shoes we had on. When we got to middle school, our judgments began to wear names..name brands and we knew whether we were part of the haves or the have nots based on the letters on our purse or the boots on our feet. Once we got to high school, cliques really began to form and the kids who “had it together” were divided by whether they were in athletics, cheered for the athletes or just sat in the stands. We got to our sophomore year and wheels began to define us, name brands resurfaced and which neighborhood you gathered in on a Friday night said whether you were a good kid or a bad one. Our self image began to waffle and we never balanced on the fact that we were “enough”. Then the college letters began to roll in, we had to start really thinking about what we wanted to be when we grew up and summer jobs defined our work ethic and our social status. Senior year was a blur. We packed as many social experiences as we could into one year and before we knew it pomp and circumstance was in our rearview mirror and that lousy song that defined the “class of 2000” would not quit playing on the radio.
Then we went to college. We feared being the awkward kid, we wondered if the upper classmen guys would think we were cute enough and the matching bedspreads in our dorm room were the only way to begin a connection. We starved ourselves and we ate weird diets. All of which were blown with late night trips to Taco Bell and the Truck Stop. We experimented with love. We had heart break. We decided to only be friends with girls and then dumped those girls when the right guy came along with a better offer. We dreamed, we studied (yes, that’s what we were there for after all), we took tests, we advanced toward our future careers.
We became women; young adults. Our life experiences broadened and we found new things to define us, to group us and to be insecure about.
Then, we split again and went our separate ways, clinging to the memories we made together as the common thread that would bind us for the remainder of life.
And then it happened….LIFE.
Bad bridesmaids dresses led to yummy baby shower punch. Big moves at work led to new cities for girls weekends and shopping trips. Aging parents and grandparents led to support in difficult times and the inevitable surprise 30th birthday parties.
But along the way, we picked up something….our grown up version of insecurities. Cocoa Butter cream and wrinkle remover face wash have found their way into our nightly beauty routine. The length of our shorts got a little longer and most of our summer shirts bear sleeves. Its our way of protecting ourselves from looking back at childhood pictures with our kids and being more concerned about the wrinkles from sun on our chest and our “overly muscular” arms. We’ll miss the moment of elation on their face at their first birthday party our or annual picture at the pumpkin patch because we will remember the reasons why 32 put more wrinkles in our crow’s nest.
Its what we do…we’re women.
But, this morning, I ran across an article. THIS ARTICLE from themomcreative.com (I’m giving you permission to click the link and read it fully before you come back)
This summer I’ve seen more and more of my friends commit to making sure they take the time to remember this summer. They want to be “fun moms”, not moms who sit by the pool covered up under an umbrella, but moms who jump feet first off the diving board. Moms who make a list of memories they intentionally wanna create with their kiddos this summer. Some are commemorating them with their own hashtag on instagram (phrases none of us ever saw coming). Some are taking lots of pictures to make summer fun photo books. Others are putting their phone down and being fully present.
Its doesn’t really matter how they are “recording” it, their kids will forever remember it and frankly, the laughter of their kiddos will drown out the sounds of insecurities any day.