Photo: Adobe Stock/Barbara Helgason
The setting was out of a Nancy Meyers movie: a picture perfect luncheon overlooking the ocean in Laguna Beach showering two mommies expecting their second babies. Craft cocktails were sipped, yummy bites were shared, gifts were exchanged and spirits restored as everyone took a little break from mommyhood.
And then it happened. A small twister in the shape of one of our mommy tribe members blew in over an hour late. Clearly disheveled and embarrassed by her tardiness, we rushed to her aid.
“What’s wrong?” We wanted to know.
“Are you ok?”
Tears leaked from my friends amber eyes as she shook her head. “No, I’m not ok.”
Just like that, we rallied. What was at first a baby shower became a battle cry to help our friend. Her story was a familiar one. Two sick kids at home, a sick husband who travels a lot for work, doctor appointments, you know the story. We all know the story.
You see, most of us at that table have known each other almost three years. We met back in the day when The New Mom School was OC Mommy and Me, and our kids were just a few weeks old. We met at a time when we all desperately needed support, when we were vulnerable new moms without a clue as to what we were doing, and when walked through those studio doors of OC Mommy and Me, we could allow ourselves to let go and feel those deep and sometimes really painful emotions that motherhood can bring to the surface. The friendships built in the setting Alexandra has created remind me of those you make in college. It’s a kind of accelerated bonding – everyone is in the same position and eager to open themselves to new relationships. There really aren’t many other times in life when one is exposed to that kind of bonding, and it’s one of the many reasons why I treasure the friendships I made almost three years ago.
I think about my friend that day of the baby shower and the truth is, in our little tribe, we’ve all had our days when we’ve struggled in front of one another (I’ve had at least three meltdowns myself), it was just her turn. Most of the time, I think, the cure for such a meltdown is getting some time away from the kids and being heard by people who love and understand you. Delicious food and a cocktail can’t hurt, either, so that’s exactly what we did.
When I’ve been in the throes of a meltdown myself, it never ceases to amaze me how moms come to my rescue, despite the fact that they have children themselves. They come armed with food ready to take my screaming child away for a few minutes or hours (God bless them) so I can regain some sense of sanity. The trust it takes to be so vulnerable with one another is profoundly moving. I can’t share that part of myself with all my friends, and I’m grateful to have met a group of women that I can share it with. I’m grateful Alexandra built a safe space to nurture such vital friendships.
Cheers to mommy’s melting down and having the friends to lift them up all over Orange County!