Poop In My Hand and Other Tales From the Hot Mamas
A few weeks into my first motherhood gig, a friend of mine called to check in on me. I was holding the phone with one hand and cradling my weeks old baby boy in my other arm. My friend was half-way through a thought when I screamed.
“Hilary? What’s wrong? Are you okay?” Concern riddle her voice.
“He pooped in my hand. I have . . . poop in my hand.”
Her own baby girl arrived about 8 months later. We’ve survived motherhood together along with three other women who all had babies the same year. Over the course of time, we added a few more mothers to our tribe. My friend’s husband once called us the “Hot Mamas” and it stuck.
Our kids don’t go to the same school. Not all of us go to the same church anymore. Some of us are closer than others, but we all have a history. One of these women was the first after my mother to arrive at the hospital ER after I was in a major car accident. We’ve planned baby showers and delivered post-baby meals to each other. We’ve babysat each other’s kids and provided parenting advice and consolation. We’ve celebrated career milestones and mourned through the death of parents and grandparents. For somewhere around twelve years we met monthly to play a dice game called bunco.
We did life together.
A year ago my family moved an hour and a half away and COVID stole our ability to get together in a group. I miss these women more than they can imagine. I’m probably driving them nuts with my texts just to check-in. And I’m already trying to convince them to plan a girls bunco retreat when COVID goes away. I might have researched cabin rentals.
I hit a wall a couple of weeks ago. I had an in-person business meeting outside of my house (a rarity these days) and really wanted to plan lunch with a friend while I was out. But I didn’t have anyone to call. In that moment all I could think was, “I miss my friends who know where the bodies are buried.”
You know those friends. The ones who know your history because they’ve lived a good bit of it with you. Many times I didn’t think I had a “tribe” like you read about on social media. Then I moved. The gap left by these women is huge.
God has blessed us with some new friends here. It’s different figuring out these new relationships, especially in this socially distanced reality. I’m reminded it takes an investment of time to build real, true friendships.
I’ll not forget when one of the hot mamas confided some of her struggles in me for the first time. At that moment, I understood what it took for her to be transparent with me and how much she valued our friendship and trusted me to talk so openly to me. We had known each other for over a year before she felt that comfortable.
I’ll get there with some of the women I’m building relationships with here. But that’s the point, it’s about building. While the move has affected relationship building, COVID has done even more damage. We’re all afraid to get together. Sometimes that’s a healthy fear. It’s keeping some of us alive, but it’s doing relationship damage I’m not sure will ever be fully repaired.
Maybe the point of all my rambling here is this:
To my Hot Mamas, I miss you all so much. Thanks for putting up with my random texts.
To my new friends, please forgive me for being awkward and weird. If you like awkward and weird, let’s do lunch. I won’t tell you where all the bodies are buried the first time we eat together. Promise.
To all the rest of you, call your friends. Text them. Check on them. Send them a crazy meme or gif. Invite them dinner or lunch even if you have to eat six feet apart on your patio. Don’t let COVID steal your friendships. It’s taken too much from us already.
PS--One more note to my Hot Mamas, y’all were scared I was going to tell where your bodies were buried, weren’t you?