Even when you dress me up, I am still a mom Last night I attended a community event for a local charity. Excited to have a grown up night out, I rushed home from work and hopped in the shower to get ready to go. You know it is a big night when I blow my hair dry! I put on fresh make up and reached way back in my closest to the “remember when you actually wore clothes without smudges and smears on it” section of my closet and dusted off a pretty dress. Somehow while hanging in my closet for a few years, that outfit seemed much smaller than I remember. After some pulling, tugging and sucking I realized somehow I had a choice to make. I could hold my breath the entire night and hope they had EMS ready in case I passed out, or I could pull out one of my fabulous “suddenly slim” undergarments reminiscent of the 19th century to help me slip into the outfit. I went for the undergarments, after all they are serving food at the event which I can eat and no one will ask me for a bite or tell me how much they hate it. Forget the need to breath for tonight! As I was leaving, Elspeth kissed me goodbye and told me, “Mommy, you look hot”. I left with a big smile on my face. To tell you the truth, I did feel hot. I pulled up to the Club where the event was being held and noticed the parking lot was empty. Here I was trying to be fashionably late and it looked like everyone else was going to be fashionably later than me. After a quick call home to have someone re-read the invitation, I realize I am at the wrong place. By the time I got to the right place there was no where to park. I had to park so far away that I really could have used a star in the sky to show me the way. My “mommy/MacGyver” bag didn’t match my outfit and my mom always told me to carry money in case of an emergency so slipped $20 into my uncomfortable undergarments. By the time I got to the door, I had blisters on my feet from walking in heels and my hair was damp from the heat. Just keep thinking “you look hot” I told myself. I walked in and saw lots of friends that I had not seen in a long time. We laughed and talked and got caught up. It was nice to be out and feel pretty. People seemed to notice my outfit which really made me feel hip and cool. I exuded confidence as I mingled with the crowd. I can work, run around with six kids, feed them before I leave, love on them, shower, get dressed up and look like I have it together! I went to brush the front of my dress, a natural Pavlovian response after years of having little ones wipe their hands on me. There right in the middle of my dress was a big purple lollipop. Should I leave it on and act like it is part of the outfit? Should I pull it off and take a lick and act like I always keep it there in case my blood sugar drops? I decide to be cool, slowly back out of the room and go to the bathroom and pull it off. After the lollipop removal, I figure I might as well and use the bathroom while I was in there. As the automatic flusher goes off, I happen to notice that my $20, which had been so neatly tucked in my undergarments, had fallen into the toilet. There is no way I was letting the toilet take my $20. Without missing a beat, I stick my hand in and wrestle my $20 from the powerful flushing of the toilet. Suddenly I start laughing. Here I am at this formal event, standing in a bathroom with a purple lollipop in one hand and a soaking wet $20 dollar bill in the other. I can dress up and try and be chic, but my reality is filled with lollipops and unexpected messiness and I would not have it any other way.
In the blink of an eye I went from the suburban mom who had it all to a single mom of six facing divorce, death, and moving. So what do you do when life throws you so many curves? You pick yourself up and find out you are stronger than you ever imagined. Blythe Newsome