A sheepish "thank you" to those of you who have dropped a note to ask if my lack of posting means that something is terribly wrong.
Things are, in fact, terribly right these days--the book is done (DONE, I tell you, DONE!) and it's off to the printer. I'm so giddy with the new-found freedom that I've celebrated by alternately plowing through my reading list and learning to crochet (and by "learning to crochet", of course, I mean "looping a bunch of sloppy knots, but gosh, it's fun.") The kids are out of school and they're helping me with holiday preparations (and by "helping", of course, I mean "not really helping at all, but gosh, they're cute"). We're staring down the barrel of an especially action-packed holiday season this year--details to follow, once all the dust has settled.
In the meantime, as a very tiring 2009 draws to a close, I find myself feeling a little reflective about this silly blog o' mine. It started as a hobby, grew into a "job," and it's mercifully, gently settling back into a hobby again, for which I'm profoundly grateful. I've learned so much about setting limits this year; perhaps I'll write on it once I grab hold of the right words. Thank you for bearing with me during a busy, chaotic year, and for the frequent doses of encouragement and laughter you've sent me at just the right time.
I just yawned, which reminds me that, yet again, I've stayed up too late, cramming in all the last-minute Things Which Must Be Done. The presents are sloppily wrapped, and the kitchen floor is covered with sprinkles from our (highly unsuccessful) foray into holiday baking today. The kids played too many video games, and the 8yo has been throwing up all evening. I sigh to remember how I was crabby when I should've been kind today, how I was rushed when I should've paid attention. I'm beginning to think my decades-long tradition of falling short at Christmas may actually be by design: if I had it all together, I suppose I wouldn't have needed a certain Baby to come and rescue me from my own messes.
So I'll sit here, picking cookie sprinkles off the bottoms of my feet, and I'll think about the manger. I'll say a prayer for peace and rest for those of you who are fighting hard battles right now--I know there are many of you. And I'll think on this, by lovely Madeleine:
He came to a world which did not mesh,
to heal its tangles, shield its scorn.
In the mystery of the Word made Flesh
the Maker of the stars was born.
We cannot wait till the world is sane
to raise our songs with joyful voice,
for to share our grief, to touch our pain,
He came with Love: Rejoice! Rejoice!
Be merry, my friends--I'll see you back here in the new year.
We had three perfectly restful days at Ree's Lodge. Over the course of our time together, we ate entirely too much food and got way too little sleep. We managed to analyze what is wrong with the State Of Marriage In America, which era of Saturday Night Live was best, what might possibly happen in Iran, and why on earth we wore those clothes in the 1980's. Sophie, Melanie and I feel so recharged and pampered and well-fed that we briefly considered refusing to leave. But that would just be bad manners, so we sadly packed up and left yesterday afternoon.
Here are a few of snapshots of all the lovelies:
[First, a disclaimer: Compared to Ree's photos, mine look like they were taken with a cheap camera and by a bad photographer. Probably because I have a cheap camera and I'm a bad photographer.]
Below, the back deck. This is where we stood to sing rousing verses of show tunes from the musical Oklahoma. (Not really. Okay, really. But only once):
I'm not sure, but I think this pantry may hold the key to world peace:
Even dirty laundry smells good in here:
The view from the room where I slept:
I would like to report that the reason this guacamole is halfway gone is that I had been sharing it evenly and diplomatically with everyone else and NOT AT ALL because I shoveled half the plate into my mouth so vigorously that my skin has a green tint to it today:
A scrumptious dinner:
And (*sigh*) cinnamon rolls for breakfast, lightly flavored with coffee:
Signing off now, to go shop for some elastic-waist pants.
Not bad at all. That strange glow in the air is a phenomenon they call "sunrise", perhaps you've heard of it? I'm pretty sure the last time I was up this early I was timing labor contractions. But starting my day with that view is almost enough to turn me into a morning person. I even hummed a few bars of "Oh What a Beautiful Mornin'". I had to hum; I was too sleepy to remember any of the words.
Our little adventure started yesterday morning, when we headed out of my city toward Ree's ranch, her meticulous directions clutched in my hand. I have a poor track record with maps (ask Hubs about the Unfortunate Memphis Incident Of 2006), but I figured that surely three college-educated women with a working knowledge of Google Maps could find Ree's place.
We meandered our way through the prettiest patch of Oklahoma I've ever seen--tall trees, rolling hills, winding roads. Then, very suddenly, we crested a ridge, only to find that the curves and hills behind us abruptly opened right up into the wide-open, flat, treeless ranch land ahead. "Girls," I whispered, feeling every bit like Ma Ingalls, "I think we found the prairie."
(I appreciate the beauty of expansive prairie land, especially the giant sky, but--at the same time--I'm strangely unnerved by it, as well. I feel a little "exposed". Perhaps it's a function of growing up in the cozy hillls of Arkansas. Perhaps I am psychologically unable to function without a silhouette of a Target in the horizon. Perhaps I'm just one endless parade of neuroses.)
Ree had mentioned that we'd turn off the main highway and drive "a bit" before we reached the Lodge. So we were picturing, I don't know, maybe a long driveway.
We turned off the main highway, and we drove. And we drove and we drove. And we drove some more. Everywhere, as far as we could see, was beautiful, wide-open, gently rolling prairie. Hardly a tree in site. Just grass. And cows. And an endless amount of blue sky. We were speechless (a rare occurrence) at the vastness and beauty of it. A horse (a horse!), taller than my car, stepped out on the road in front of us, then slowly he sauntered off. Melanie pointed out our next turn, and so I flipped on my turn signal. MY TURN SIGNAL. You know, just in case that one truck we saw 15 miles ago needed to know what we were doing. Suddenly and painfully aware of the "city girl" labels stamped on our foreheads, we started giggling. Then laughing. Then snorting. We were laughing so hard I had to pull the car over. Delirium had set in. (It's prairie madness, I'm sure. Just like the original pioneers, except with an air-conditioned Honda).
But we forged ahead, meeting up with Ree at the Lodge. She showed up bearing a giant dish full of this--between that and the unhealthy amount of chips and salsa I've eaten in the last 24 hours, Sophie and Melanie may have to roll me home. We spent a quiet afternoon and evening with Ree, laughing and talking and generally discussing The State Of the World (and sighing some sad sighs over this). When we parted last night, she let us know she'd be picking us up at the crack o' dawn this morning to work some cattle. I thought that perhaps "work some cattle" might be ranch-speak for "sit on the deck and read a good book with my feet propped up".
In fact, "work some cattle" is ranch-speak for "work some cattle". Marlboro Man kindly offered to saddle up some horses for us. As tempting as it was to climb up on a horse for my very first time in front of a bunch of professional cowboys, I decided to ride in the car with Ree and Sophie (though Melanie, feeling the need to represent the state of Texas well, gave it a very honorable effort).
Here is the point in this post where I would like to describe to you the morning's events, but my questionable grasp of ranching terminology makes a it a little difficult to communicate. So instead, I'll just tell you that we watched a whole bunch of very strong cowboys do this:
Mostly, we just tried (successfully) to stay out of the way, and we tried (unsuccessfully) not to ask too many questions. Our best source of information was Ree's oldest daughter, who is remarkably well-informed about various and sundry ranch-related issues. When we found ourselves standing in a pen with several newly-branded-and-vaccinated (and understandably cranky) calves, Ree's daughter quietly advised us that "if they run at you, just wave your arms."
If they run at me?
Alrighty. I'll be sure to remember that while I'm dropping to the ground and crying in terror.
It was only shortly thereafter that one calf, especially frustrated by the morning's events, seemed to zero in on Sophie, Melanie and me as the source of all his problems. Is it my imagination, or is he giving us a dirty look?
I thought about telling him to wipe that scowl off his face, but then Ree's daughter told me he weighs three times what I do, so I changed my mind.
Now I'm at the end of this remarkable day (not really at the end, but when you're up at 4:45 a.m., mid-afternoon feels like the end of the day). My feet are propped up on a comfy couch in the Lodge, and I'm looking out over an incredible view. Ree is headed back up this way in a little while to cook for us (oh yes, please!)
Do you think my family would notice if I decided to stay here just a little longer, like, maybe a year or two?
(Ree, Melanie, me and Sophie)
Melanie and I usually go to lunch about once a week. We always look for some place with organic vegetables and wheat grass drinks, because we really need rejuvenating from all the yoga we do throughout the morning.
Um, no. We usually go here. Because friends don't let friends eat cheesecake chimichangas (alone).
But this week we skipped our Bueno lunch and used the time instead to rehearse this little number for you.
(Cheesy. I know. But somewhere in the blogger by-laws it says that you have to publish an Elf Yourself Dance at Christmas, and if you don't, Santa will come down your chimney and break your laptop. So there you go; I'm just playing by the rules.)
There are two things very dear to my heart. Two things I cherish and pursue at every possible opportunity:
1. Sleeping late.
2. Bargain shopping.
For 364 days a year, these two things co-exist peacefully inside my head.
On Black Friday, they go to war.
Every year, it's the same: there's a tug-of-war inside my l-tryptophan-clouded head as I weigh my love for a day of sleeping in (the kids are out of school! no rushing out the door!) versus my love for the amazing deals to be had at an inhuman hours (Old Navy hoodies for $7.50!)
The most likely scenario is usually that, on Thanksgiving, my left brain carefully gathers the sale circulars and maps out a plan.
And then Friday morning, my right brain hits the snooze button. Vigorously.
But I did it this morning! I stuck with it. To discipline myself, this year I thought ahead. I called my friend Nan last night and asked if she'd like to meet at Toys R Us at 5 am (they were offering 50% off of A Certain Thing I Cannot Name Because My Kids Read My Blog). I knew if I were actually meeting someone, I'd be less likely to sleep in.
Nan is a morning person. I had a moment of panic when I wondered if she'd expect me to supply cheerful conversation. (At 5 am, she'd be lucky if I remembered deoderant). Thankfully she's a good enough friend that she required no cheerfulness and gave me all the room I needed to emit a general air of sullenness.
(Speaking of air, did you know that the air around Toys R Us on November 28th at 5 in the morning is very cold? And I know this because I STOOD IN LINE IN IT.)
After our victorious Toys R Us expedition, we headed to Old Navy, where we scored some excellent bargains. (Though we had to stand in line for an hour to pay for those bargains. Old Navy may know a thing or two about hoodies, but their speedy check-out skills leave something to be desired.)
The last stop was JoAnn's, where flannel is on sale for $1.50/yard. Or, at least, it was on sale--by the time I got there at the slacker-late hour of 7:30 am, it was almost gone. I was secretly relieved, because while they were selling flannel at an amazing price, as far as I know they were not selling the extra three hours of days I would need to, you know, actually sew something.
Now I'm home and shopped-out and happily sitting on my couch with my kids, watching a DVR'd version of the Macy's parade (which is, incidentally, very different from how I was spending my November 28th a decade ago--happy birthday, my boy!)
So I'm curious how many of you were
wildly demented thriftily wise enough to brave the Black Friday crowds. Just for grins, answer the survey below:
You know what happens when you write about loving simple recipes? Old friends suddenly start e-mailing them to you! And suddenly your in-box is aflood with all these fantastic recipes that your friends have always known about and never shared with you, and you're, like, seriously, you've been holding out on me all this time?
My friend Lori sent me a casserole recipe that is so good I can almost forgive her for waiting this long to share it. The good news is that this casserole is SO simple and delicious. The bad news is that it uses a giant batch of chicken, which is so expensive right now you might need a second mortgage to afford it. But it's still a good special-occasion recipe. Also, you could use less chicken and plump it up with pasta, I suppose, but sadly, the full-chickeny taste would be a little lost.
Anyway, here it goes, from my friend Lori, who got it from Southern Living (and, incidentally, I doctored it up a little beyond that, so who knows what it is anymore):
3 cups cooked chicken, cut into cubes
2 cups chopped celery
1 can cream of chicken soup
8 oz sour cream
2-3 cups crushed Ritz crackers
Mix together first four ingredients. Season to taste with onion powder, garlic, salt and pepper. Spread mixture in greased casserole dish; cover completely with crushed Ritz crackers. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
That's Las Vegas. Where my Barry lives. And sings. And since it wasn't a practical option for her to pack me in her suitcase and sneak me backstage to the concert, she had to suffice by stopping by the Barry Manilow gift shop. We had lunch on Tuesday, and she pushed this across the table at me. I squealed.
It's a complete Barry Manilow gift pack, all wrapped up (appropriately) in a glossy black bag with leopard print tissue paper. Let the classiness just wash over you for a minute.
Inside is a Barry poker chip, Barry lip balm, Barry pencils and a Barry cell phone dangle. "That's awesome!" I told her. "Every time I use my cell phone, the people around me will see how much I love Barry!"
She frowned. "And....that's....good for you?"
Oh yes ma'am. It's so good I might have to download a Copa Cabana ring tone to go with it.
I am just worn out from all the laughing.
My sweet friend from high school, The Queen B, made the two-hour drive to visit me today. Though we've stayed in touch via e-mail and phone, we haven't had a face-to-face conversation in years.
I was reminded of something today, something it's easy to forget in the busy-ness of life that keeps us focused on the here and now: there is nothing like an old friend.
(And I mean, of course, "old" as in "long-time" , not "old" as in "aged". Because if B is aged, I am aged, and that will never do.)
It's a happy thing to sit down and laugh and reminisce with someone who knew you when your hair was big and your music was loud. And there's nothing like talking about the challenges of motherhood and rising gas prices with the same person who held your hand when you cried over a jerk-ish high school football player.
We laughed and talked downstairs today while her daughter and my sons listened to The Jonas Brothers (too loudly) upstairs.
It just felt right.
About 20 years ago, my best friend B and I lay sprawled in her bedroom floor, taking turns pausing the Paula Abdul cassette in the boom box (oh yes, the "boom box". We had all the street cred you would expect from two white girls growing up in rural Arkansas). We wanted to learn all the words to the spoken part in the middle of "Cold-Hearted Snake", and we spent a full two hours devoted to the task.
And to this day, those profound words stay with me: "How can--how can--he keep on a' tellin--tellin you that you were always--always--number--number--one without a doubt...."
I tell you this story to assure you that my friend B is capable of very great things.
No one was more pleased than I when she finally started a blog, The Queen B. It's just as funny as I knew it would be, including jewels of wisdom such as
See? Good stuff (and I'm not just saying that because she could totally blackmail me with info about my teenage years). When you have time, head over there and welcome my dear old friend to the blogosphere.
It is next to impossible to sum up a weekend like the one I just had, especially when every cell in your body is clouded and confused from eating 3,519,209 calories in the span of 48 hours. So I am taking myself off the hook for coming up with clever paragraph transitions and give you a few more highlights, in bullet form.
:: Yes, I did the podcast with Sophie and Melanie, though I don't believe it's quite ready for publication yet (stay tuned--I'll tell you when it is). It was a very unnerving experience. The two pros were relaxed and funny; I kept feeling the need to sit up straight and sound smart. I did not pull it off. Also, I think if you will listen very closely, you will be able to hear the rumbling sounds of my digestive system in the background--did I mention that we ate a lot of food?
:: It was indeed heavenly being alone in a hotel room. The bed was huge and soft and covered with six (SIX!) luxurious pillows. I slept with every single one. And I slept in the middle of the bed, too, because I am a wild, wild woman.
:: I bought a laptop bag at Steinmart that is a force to be reckoned with. It was originally$55; I got it for $19 (which, as Melanie pointed out, is "practically free.") Here it is for your viewing pleasure:
Is that a fine bag, or is that a fine bag?
:: We did much discussing of the Pioneer Woman love story, to the point that we sounded much like crazy stalkers. But I can tell you this freely, since the Pioneer Woman is about as likely to read our blogs as, say, Dick Cheney.
:: We spent a lot of time talking about blogging and bloggers and blogrolls and blog-rings and such and such and such, which is probably no huge surprise. Of particular note was the hour we spend pounding away on our keyboards Saturday night, all piled on the same bed. Because, you know, it is such an excellent use of time to travel hundreds of miles to see each other and then do EXACTLY WHAT WE WOULD BE DOING AT HOME.
:: I got some video of the Casting Crowns concert, though I have nary a clue how to upload it off my camcorder. I'll get Hubs Dryer right on that. But let me say once again how amazing it was. You know what was particularly impressive to me? There was never a big moment at the beginning of the concert where an announcer boomed, "AND NOW...CASTING CROWNS!" Instead, they simply started singing, with all the stage lights off, essentially deflecting any glory from themselves. I'll confess that I tend to be a little jaded where Christian marketing is concerned, but these guys were the real deal. They were not there to perform, they were there to lead in worship. Period.
:: You know who else is the real deal? Sophie and Melanie. They were in real life just as they are on their blogs--funny and warm and genuine. Blog on, girlfriends. I'd share queso with you ANY day.
Up to this point, I haven't mentioned where I'm going this weekend, because I'm so excited that my voice gets all squealy whenever I talk about it. Have you ever read a squealy-voiced blog post? It isn't pretty.
My favorite-of-all-time band, Casting Crowns (together with their record label, Provident), is hosting us for a very bloggy weekend in which we get to see the Casting Crowns concert Friday night. AND to my utter delight (dare I say it, lest I break the spell?) we will get to go backstage and meet Casting Crowns.
Hubs says, "Really, is all this squealing necessary? I thought you loved Casting Crowns because they are so humble and down-to-earth. Do you really think they would be comfortable that you're squealing at the thought of seeing them?"
So I will stop squealing and tell you in a voice just as serious and reserved as I can that I am terribly excited, about the concert, about meeting these two girls, and just generally getting away. Our kind hosts have booked us hotel rooms, and for some reason, they've given us each our own.
Our OWN rooms.
All alone in a hotel room.
I don't know that I've ever been all alone in a hotel room. How on earth am I going to sleep without my backside snuggled up to Hubs, or Corrie's foot lodged firmly in my kidney? I think I may have to jump on the bed to tire myself out.
Anyhoo, in addition to all the Casting Crowns fun, I can't wait to spend some time in real life with Big and Boo. Having read and adored them for so long, I suspect that after five minutes we'll feel like old friends. But I will tell you, no matter how many times you meet a bloggy friend in real life, it always feel like some sort of bizarre blind date.
What if the hair looks especially man-ish?
What if I miss my connection in Memphis (have I mentioned I loathe flying?)?
What if I act like a dork? (Let me re-phrase that. It is a given that I will act like a dork. What if I act like more of a dork than my normal allotment of dorkishness?)
I'm just hoping for the best and taking plenty of hair product. Because what else can a girl do?
Oh, and one last thing...(can you tell by the way I'm subject hopping that I have the jitters?)...Big and Boo are letting me sit in on their podcast, the thought of which is MAKING ME SWEAT, but I'm forging ahead. Sometime over the weekend, BooMama will work her techie magic and get the three-way podcast up on their blogs, and you can all confirm once and for all why I am a blogger and not a speaker.
And yet, still...*squeal!*
That's a lot of Southern Woman in one room, y'all. I have a feeling there will be stories to tell.
I'm not sure why I'm in such a walk-down-memory-lane sort of mood lately, but I am. Today I'm going to tell you one of my favorite stories. It involves one of my oldest and dearest friends, a sorority sister whose privacy I want to be very careful to protect. So I'll just tell you only that her name begins with Mich- and ends in -elle.
(I'm totally giving her a hard time, because I know she's reading this. Hi, darlin'!)
Hubs and I first met our junior year in college, Michelle and Hubs were both very active leaders in a particular student organization. They had to work closely together, and in the course of their interactions they had somehow butted heads. Badly. Both of these people I love dearly are very (how shall I say it?) independent-minded, and the two of them together wasn't a nice combination.
Anyway, Hubs and I had met in February of '93, with initially disastrous impressions of each other. Thankfully, circumstances continued to put us around each other, and we formed more favorable opinions. We quickly became friends, and I developed a pretty significant crush on this smart, funny, ambitious fraternity boy who was unlike anyone I'd ever met.
In March, my sorority held a "date function", which is another word for "cruel, medieval torture device." Not really, but it did mean that the girl from the sorority invited a boy to the party. As in, asked him out. On a DATE. Because of the very proper way I'd (thankfully) been raised, I would've rather thrown myself in front of a bus than ask a boy out, so I had skipped most of these date functions up to that point.
But then there was Hubs. And I WANTED A DATE with that man. I fretted and stewed and wrung my hands and somehow summoned every ounce of courage deep in my soul. I was going to ask him to the party.
This particular date function required that the sorority member sign up her date's name on a list posted in the chapter house. Then that list would be published in the student newspaper, and the girl would then call the boy and say, "Hey! Did you see your name on the list? That was from me!"
So not only could you potentially be rejected, but you could potentially be rejected with the entire University of Arkansas watching. It was a grand tradition.
With sweaty palms, I nervously wrote "Hubs Dryer" on the list. It was horrible, but I was ready to sacrifice my dignity for a date with Dream Boy. I took a deep breath and dashed to class.
As I headed across campus, though, I heard someone shouting my name. It was Michelle, and she was frantically chasing me. Breathless, she said, "Did I see that you put Hubs Dryer's name on the date function list? I didn't even know you knew him!"
"Yes," I told her. "We met about a month ago, and I think I like him."
She told me how she knew him, how they'd worked together. "Shannon," she said firmly. "He is AWFUL. So bossy. You cannot possibly go out with him." Then she delivered the final blow: "Trust me--the two of you would NEVER work out."
Of course, that was just IT for me. My nerves couldn't take anymore. As soon as I got the chance, I thoroughly erased his name from the list, thankful my friend had spared me from a horrible date with Awful Boy.
Yet, Awful Boy continued to show up in my path, almost daily. And he wasn't that awful. Not at all. When he spared me the trauma and asked me out a month later, I fell hard.
The wonderful irony of this story (and there is much) is that Michelle and Hubs are dear friends now, which tickles me pink. Except for this one gaping incident, every other piece of advice she's given me has been spot-on correct, but I still won't let her live it down. In fact, I recall standing behind her in the foyer of my hometown church on my wedding day. Pachelbel's Canon in D was swirling in the air and Michelle, my maid of honor, was about to head down the aisle.
"We'd never work out, huh?" I whispered.
Thankfully, a good sense of humor is one of her many gifts. (I love you, my sweet friend! Oh, and Awful Boy? I love you too.)
A few months ago, out on a walk with my kids, I met a woman in our neighborhood who, it turned out, lives almost directly behind us. Kerry has two little boys; the youngest is only a couple of weeks older than my daughter Corrie. She and her husband had only moved to the area recently, and we were both glad to meet another mom in the neighborhood. We talked about schools and pediatricians and all the other stuff moms are required to discuss on their first meeting--then we traded phone numbers and went back to our respective houses.
I called Kerry a couple of weeks later to meet up for lunch at a Burger King with a play place. We had a nice--albeit loud--visit while our two year olds played. Actually, her two year old played;, my two year old (who has three big brothers, and therefore thinks that all human interaction involves fists) attempted to drop-kick, body-slam and otherwise tackle my friend's little boy the entire time. I was mortified and apologetic and mumbled every few minutes about how she wasn't sleeping well lately, or some other lame excuse. Kerry was completely gracious, of course. We parted, and I hoped my new friend would want to get together again with That Strange Family That Is Raising a Mean Girl.
The flurry of the holidays kept us from getting together, though our kids squealed at each other a few times from their respective backyard forts. Early this week, I was so pleased when Kerry called to invite us to her house for a play date. I dressed Corrie in her frilly best (if she was going to act like a bully again, at least she wouldn't look like one), and we headed around the block for our second meeting with our new friends.
We arrived to find Kerry at the door, face white, on the phone with the doctor. Her older son had a bad fall in the garage moments before and immediately wanted to sleep--she was scared he had a concussion. She hung up and told me that the nurse said her son was fine as long as he didn't vomit, at which point he (of course) promptly vomited. I immediately offered to take her little one home with me so that she could take her son to the doctor, and I brought him back to my house with Corrie. As we pulled out of the driveway, Kerry looked at me, folded her hands and mouthed the words thank you with a look of desperation. No problem, I mouthed back.
As I write this, Corrie and her little friend are playing happily in the next room, and I've been praying for my new friend and her older son at the doctor's office. Our friendship consists of about 15 minutes-worth of conversation at this point, and yet we've both already had the chance to see each other at a particularly low moment. It's the reason, I believe, why "momma friendships" seem to be such deep ones, and why we bond so quickly. We're all on the same roller-coaster, after all. It's as if there's an unspoken Momma Code that hangs in the air between us at all times: This-is-hard-please-help-me.
In a society where asking for help is sometimes seen as a sign of weakness, motherhood forces us to reach out for others--it's simply too much for one person, sometimes. It's the reason you watch a friend's child so she can take another one to the doctor, because you know how hard that is. It's the reason you intercept a wandering toddler in the produce section, because the wild-eyed look of terror on the face of the mom two aisles away looks all too familar. And it's the reason you take a meal to a friend who has morning sickness, because you've tried to fix a casserole between dashes to the bathroom. You do it with the assurance that you will likely be needing such kindness yourself soon.
So if things are smooth at your house today--if no one is sick or bleeding or fighting or grounded or has soccer/karate/dance/piano lessons--you can be quite sure that somewhere near you things are not smooth for another mom. Find her, and do something.
And if you're the one up to your eyeballs, reach out and ask for help. Any mom worth her salt would sympathize and come to your rescue. She has to. It's part of The Code.
This post was originally published on January 12, 2007