A couple of Saturdays ago, I went to a rehearsal for an upcoming show entitled, Moms: We’ve Still Got It! Basically, it’s a diva review filled with a wonderful variety of songs, dances, and laughter. I, along with an amazing group of other mom/artists, will “celebrate motherhood, strut our stuff as women, and rock the house as artists” (as per the event description). And like I said, that Saturday was our first rehearsal! Yay!
It was a little dicey on whether I would make the rehearsal, though, because the great Stomach Bug of 2016 descended upon my household on that Friday, just after we arrived home from our road trip through Canada (that harrowing story a few posts ago!).
About 5 a.m. that Friday the oldest started throwing up, and after that the toddler was exploding in other ways. I’ll spare you the gruesome details. Suffice to say, we were a ragtag bunch by Saturday morning, but they all seemed perky and better in time for rehearsal (read: they were screaming and chasing each other around the house/ I was going a little crazy). I checked with the director of the show who said she thought it would be fine for me to let the kids come watch a movie in the corner while we worked. So I got brave (crazy? It’s a fine line), and loaded them up.
When we arrived at the venue, there was another sweet little girl there who belonged to mom/artist friend. Gulp. My friend assured me that she had already heard the situation and that it would all be fine. So I breathed a little and got to work rehearsing some of the numbers I’m in for the show.
After a bit of time, most of the women involved were gathered on the stage to work on one of the big group numbers. It is what I call “The Big Bossy Diva Number.” It was going swimmingly well until I noticed a white trail of something underneath my toddler, which he was proceeding to stomp and grind into the carpet. Hey parents, you know what the inside of a diaper looks like when it gets too wet and explodes? Like it’s snowing some kind of weird plastic gel? Yeah…
So there I am, practicing with a big group of incredibly talented women for the Big Bossy Diva Number, and there is my child …leaving a trail of diaper innards. I bolted over and picked him up, only to have the diaper explode down his pant leg and onto me and into his boot. I was flaming hot with embarrassment.
So I put him down right there by the stage per a friend’s suggestion, while one mom ran for a trash bag and yet another mom ran for the vacuum. Practice continued while we changed him, which was significantly more difficult than it sounds because that white gel stuff clings to skin, and vacuumed the white diaper innards. He ran off happily to play, oblivious, in just a sweater and diaper. And I tried to cobble together some of that elusive diva energy to finish the songs, shaking my head and laughing and wondering what “it” was that we’ve still supposedly “got.”
I survived it, largely due to the fact that every single woman there was herself a mom, and everyone either pitched in to help or offered support or humor which gave me the necessary grace for the moment. There are other friends in town who have offered other forms of grace- Pedialyte, Vernors and Saltines (the Michigan cure), groceries, chocolate covered bacon (!), flowers, hugs, encouragement, and prayers. So when the middle child, the only formerly healthy child, started throwing up the next day, I just laughed and rolled with it, and I asked yet another friend bring me Pedialyte… the third supply. I have been utterly overwhelmed recounting the sheer number of friends who showed up for us that week, and who always show up for us. Hubby, who was in Japan at the time, told me I needed to write this down for myself so that I can use that reminder next time I feel lonely. Which happens even to me, an avowed extrovert, because Michigan winters are long and grey.
I think the rough weeks are often when we really shine for each other as community. I mean, the good times are obviously welcome. I’m thankful, beyond thankful, for how smoothly life can roll along at times. But honestly, the rough patches are where we as humans seem to do a better job at showing up for each other. Maybe it’s because we see a need we can fill, whereas in the easier times we don’t feel quite as useful. Anyway, I agree with the proverb that says “a friend loves at all times, and a brother (sister? ;)) is born in adversity.” (Proverbs 17:17)
Sometimes it just goes like that, when every little thing goes crazy or wrong or ridiculous. In the aftermath, I pondered that phrase: “we’ve still got it!” And while yes, I think we are all still artists and rockstars, I think we also still have something that is even more important: each other. We have our sisters, by birth, and by friendship, and in Christ. On many occasions, we can have the privilege of meeting each other’s tangible needs. And today I’m thankful for that.