It was the weekend from hell.
My new cleaning lady marched out of the front door, after completing only the kitchen and living room, because I refused to pay her $100 more than our already negotiated price. My dog, who is on three different medications and can’t control her bladder, left a puddle in the foyer sending me tumbling flat on my rear in classic cartoon slip-on-the-banana-peel fashion. And, as if all of that was not enough, my son’s maniacal alter-ego, Senor Terrible, dropped in for a surprise visit, kicked his feet up, and decided to stay for the entire weekend. He commandeered the house wreaking all kinds of havoc, and left me staring blankly into the bathroom mirror as tears crept down my cheeks. It was one of those weekends when I questioned how the hell was I going to get through one more hour let alone a lifetime more of parenting.
But just as joy cometh in the morning, so do best friends. My son’s Godmother called to see if she could pick up anything for me from the market while she was there. I did not need anything but a little swiss-boom-bah from one of my biggest cheerleaders, so I told her, “You bring the snacks. I got the wine.” When she arrived, we swapped mommy struggles and triumphs, enjoyed our usual silliness reminiscent of our college days at Sarah Lawrence, and we kee-keed while sipping on wine.
The next weekend, I was still a bit tightly wound. Things at work were stressful. My desperate search for a cleaning woman continued. Binky was still peeing any and everywhere that she could. My son’s father and I had spent the better part of the previous couple of days engaged in a text message war that could easily rival the one in Iraq. And worst of all, my cherished coffeemaker died right when I was in the middle of preparing my morning cup. And there were at least 12 hours more before bedtime.
Later that Saturday afternoon, my son’s other Godmother drove in from New Jersey for a welcomed visit. Unlike during my pre-baby days, there was no marathon mall mission or leisurely restaurant lunching for us. It was simply take-out Thai from a local greasy spoon and good conversation that led us down a path of revelation and truth about something that had loomed over our friendship for many years. The talk was unexpected, but freeing. A transparency emerged between us that had not been present for the last 13 years despite the sisterhood we share.
The afternoon drifted. She spent time with Jaxon while I entertained. She was surprised and amused by my newly found talent for singing Yo Gabba Gabba lyrics and executing the accompanying dance moves with a precision that would make DJ Lance himself proud. I wore no make-up, was not dressed-up, nor did we drink wine. It was just a good day with a best friend.
I cannot think of my village, without thinking of my mother. She is the chief. Just when I do not know where I will find the strength to go on, she is in the air and on her way to New York to lend a hand. She emotionally supports me so that I can better support my son. She mothers me while I mother him. She is there for me so that I can be here for him. She drafts the blueprint of a mother’s love.
Motherhood takes courage, strength, perseverance, and faith. Single motherhood takes twice the amount of all of those. But more than anything else, it takes a village. A village of loved ones who are there to make you laugh after you have cried, to tell you that you are an awesome mom when you have convinced yourself that you are not even in the running, and to simply have your back when it feels like you are bearing the weight of the world all alone.
And at the end of another week, when all obstacles have been overcome and all challenges conquered–let there be wine!