Be a Friend. Be a Mama Bear.

I have the kind of friend who makes me feel lucky.  The kind of friend who reminds me who I am not deliberately, but just by the pure existence and nature of the relationship between us.  I may talk to her more than once a week or when life allows me to take a deep breath and I claw at my phone to dial her up before I lose that free moment.  My friend and I were pregnant at the same time and we went through a lot of the same feelings and emotions at the same time.  We still do.  And if we’re not going through the same things, we can empathize.  The fatal flaw in our relationship: we live 1,200 miles apart.  It sucks, but it also doesn’t matter.  

This friend gives me power when I let life and the world take it away or even worse – when I give it away.  She reminds me that being kind doesn’t equal being a doormat.  She knows the right thing to say and exactly how to say it.  I’m embarrassed to it admit it, but I thought that people who always said the right things carefully crafted each sentence before speaking – that they processed what someone needed to hear and how they needed to hear it before breaking their words upon their ears.  After talking to my friend last night I realized that there is no premeditation in her words.  She said the right things because she was saying them in her words.  It’s simple.  But like so many other things, I thought the complicated explanation was the correct one.  My friend and I talked on the phone late into the night last night (those are always the best conversations) while she moved around her house and I lay on the couch then later in bed.  I want to throw my thanks into the universe for that conversation and my friend on the other end of the line over a thousand miles away.

I’ve been thinking about something that happened to Connor and I recently at a shoe store.  Z and I had been cramming his baby feet into size 4.5 shoes and figured that yeah, his feet have probably grown in the last 6 months.  So, we ventured to the local shoe store and I asked one of the associates to measure Connor’s feet.  He didn’t take too kindly to having this stranger grab at him and try to put his foot into a cold metal contraption, so he started to cry.  No biggie, babies cry sometimes (although crying in public always sounds louder to everyone).  Well, the associate shushed him.  Now, that might not sound that bad, but I started at her in disbelief as this stranger formed her mouth into and O and a not helpful “Shhhhhhh!” came out (replaying it in my mind, she is way bitchier and louder than she maybe probably possibly really was).  And you know what I said as I stared at this woman trying to quiet my kid?  Nothing.  I said nothing.  

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Bye bye, baby shoes

I finally snapped out of it and took him to another part of the shoe store where I started to feel really offended by what had just happened.  But I figured it was too late – the moment had passed for me to react.  I’ve been replaying that small event in my mind because I was bothered enough that I should have said something but I didn’t.  My mind won over my gut and I’m back in regret town.  I gave my power away for nothing but the sake of silence.  Worthless silence.  My friend reminded me that it’s never too late to say something, especially when in Mama Bear mode.  I think we all need to be in Mama Bear mode not just for those we love, but for ourselves, too.  Be a Mama Bear for yourself this weekend and next week and every week and month after.  You can bet your furry ass that I’ll be working on it.

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