In 2004, after S.Rube was born, I was blessed with meeting the women of my dreams. I know that sounds a bit gay or perhaps cliche, but I guess it's true. Women friends are important. More important than just about anything really, I think. Because without women friends, I don't believe that we adequately feed ourselves with the energy and the understanding that only other women can provide. And, if we aren't getting that energy, we aren't giving that energy. So, our families suffer.
So, feed yourself. That's my theory.
I wanted important women friends in my life. I found them at the health unit. It was a casual "Mommy and Me" group, where we could sit in on 6 different info sessions with our new babies, and figure out what the hell we were doing. We were all first-time moms. We were all confused, scared, struggling and anxious to get back in shape. Every day of the week, we met to walk. We refused to sit solitarily in our homes with our babies becoming more and more isolated from the real world. After walking, we would sit in coffee shops for hours, monopolizing entire seating areas with strollers and breastfeeding to our heart's content. Anything, I think, some days, to not have to go home. We saved each other, in many ways.
I think there were 18 or so to begin with. After the 6 sessions ended, we began meeting at one of our homes every week, each taking turns to host the playdate and provide lunch for all the moms. Most of our playdates involved 12-16 moms and the same number of babies. All of the kids were born between May and November of 2004, the year of the Monkey.
Our group began to branch out further and we started to get together without the babies, too, creating a monthly Poker Night. We began participating in community activities together with the kids, such as joining a music class, or signing up for swimming lessons. We started to include the dads, too, and began to create tradition for the kids with an annual birthday party and Christmas gift exchanges. We held a "Name our Group" contest and the winner was "The Monkeys & the Ma-Ma Sisterhood", so we refer to the kids as the monkeys and ourselves as the Ma-Mas.
Today was our big Monkey birthday party. I always get a bit mushy after being with 'my Ma-Mas.' It's just so good. It is just so easy. And it's just so good. There are so many of us and so many possible combinations of relationships between us and, yet, there is never a problem. (almost never anyway). (and, if there were a problem, it is probably likely that I was involved).
I feel like I have 16 best friends. It's crazy. I would go to any one of you in a time of need and I trust you all implicitly. I am more myself when I'm with you than I am with anyone. I look forward to seeing you, and am aware when I've been neglectful and am in need of my 'Ma-Ma Time'. Sometimes I can't get enough of you. I love what we are creating together; not only for the children, but for us. Because, one day, our children will be grown up and gone. And, the only silver lining in that dark cloud is knowing that I'll still have 'my Ma-Mas'.
(Was it Mexico we decided upon? or Hawaii?)
(Peg, I missed you today. You're in my heart, doll.)