Princess #1 and Princess #2 are in a ballet production this summer. I'm not sure why we decided to do it as this now means that we have to cart the whole crew not once, but FOUR times to ballet each week from now through August. I really need to have my head examined.
Anyway, today we were at the studio, the whole lot of us, while Princess #2 was in rehearsal. This particular studio is quite large and busy. Not only were there rehearsals for the production happening, but also regular summer ballet classes. There were plenty of ballet moms milling about, along with younger siblings and the occasional dad. As I was sitting on a very uncomfortable bench, watching the hands of the clock make their way around the face in a painfully slow fashion, I noticed a young(ish) gal, early twenties maybe, dressed in a sports bra and a spandex sport skirt (what an oxymoron), completely put together and adorable, making her way around the waiting room.
She was really working the crowd, stopping and introducing herself to all the bedraggled mamas in their yoga pants and ponytails and chatting up the younger siblings, quizzing them about their stuffed animals or books or whatever paraphernalia happened to accompany them in a manner that seemed almost a little bit too interested. Being the shy-ish gal I am, I busied myself with Princess #4 as she made her way around the room towards my space. I made my break for it as she spoke with the mama who sat next to me, and as I was leaving I finally heard the tail-end of her pitch, aka. the reason she was speaking to us at all:
"My name is Michelle!! I'm teaching a Zumba class here next hour!! You should totally come, it's perfect since it's right after your daughter's rehearsal!! It's alot of fun!!" (can you hear the bouncy-ness? I hope the exclamation points got that across.)
I had to smile to myself a little bit as I exited the building, herding my crew like cats out the door. She made it sound so simple. Sure! I'll just leave my kiddos in the waiting room unattended while I "Zumba it up" for an hour. Oh if only it were that easy! It was almost humorous, to look around the room at the group she was recruiting - a whole bunch of women who would probably give anything to have an hour to do something for themselves, shoot, even just a few minutes to pee by themselves, and yet it was clearly obvious that it was an impossibility. And know that I mean her no ill will, because I know at 20 I wouldn't have thought twice about what a mom is supposed to do with her 4 kids while she does something for herself.
But that's the way it so often turns out right? Before we're in the position, we don't think of it. Once we're living it, it's all we can think about, and then again, once the kids are grown and gone, we forget what it was like.
I recently had a friend who has kids older than mine (she's going to be a grandma soon!) ask me if I had gotten to take my girls to the library yet this summer. Woefully, I had to tell her no, I hadn't. And just couldn't, not all the kids (my 4 plus 1) by myself. Two days later she called to tell me she was coming by to pick up the older princesses to take them to the library.
I so want to be that person. The one that calls up the weary mama I know and says, "hey, let me play with your kids for awhile. Go Zumba it up for an hour. Or go to the mall by yourself. Or just go sit in a bubblebath with the door locked." I can't be her right now. I wish I could, but I'm too overwhelmed with my own life, too busy trying to keep my own head above water. But I hope and pray that I don't ever forget what it feels like to be the weary mama that needs a friend like that, and I hope that I'll be able to identify opportunities to be that friend.
I also hope cute little Michelle got some mamas to stay for her class.