"We're all just walking each other home." ~Ram Das
While visiting a friend today we sit, sipping coffee, her little ones weaving through a sea of toys strewn across her colorful rug.
She speaks of how she used to be able to manage life in an orderly fashion. Her eyes look tired - the beautiful, weary face of motherhood accentuated by her pulled-back hair.
The two year old, who dislikes wearing clothes, is running in his diaper through the gauntlet of toys, laser-eyes focusing on a doll his sister is gently rocking. As he grabs the doll's hair, her screams fill the room, waking the baby who starts to cry.
As the escalating emotions lead to more tears, more screaming, more pulling, resulting in more scrappy behavior, my friend asks, as she often does...
"Did your kids ever do this?”
I search my memory, hoping to commiserate.
Wanting to say "you're not alone, we've all been there, this too shall pass."
Searching for the words that reflect how I remember feeling 20 years ago when my boys were small: that parenting is hard, that a guide book would help, that every day involves a new scenario that needs figuring out.
We all have those moments, those days, that make us feel small and alone. We long to know it'll all work out. I search for an example of a similar time, a day when I also felt my life was overwhelming and disorganized, when my body was tired and I'd lost the answers to the questions.
And like mothers everywhere, those days are many, allowing our hearts to connect even when the specifics of our stories do not.
You see, we’re more alike than different.
We’re all working hard and doing our best.
We need each other along the way.
And because we had each other, instead of crying, we laughed. And with her motherhood challenges swirling around us, we sipped our cold coffee.