Sometimes I feel like there’s not a whole lot to write about, as my life currently seems to be living in and revolving around the following three-hour increments: eat.sleep.poop, eat.sleep.poop, repeat… But in that way a couple of “but’s” exist: but even if that is the story, I still have a need to write. For this but that momentarily defines my days also lends itself to admission to the best of secret clubs: Club Mama.
Everybody wants to be a part of something – we all want admission to the club. In the 5th grade I gained admission to the (albeit embarrassing and depressing) “I Hate Robert Smith Club.” Why my little teeny-bopper friends hated this boy, and felt the need to form a club in his supposedly spiteful honor, I don’t remember – and why I then didn’t stick up for the kid and at least try to pull (and act upon) the Christian card, I’m not sure. But I wanted to belong, and that was more important to me than making another feel like he wasn’t worthy of belonging, even though I really didn’t hate the little dude at all. Robert Smith, wherever you are, my apologies for the cruelties some of us inflicted upon you, all in the name of belonging.
But like all things, not all belonging and not every club is bad. Suddenly, I walk into Whole Foods with Canon bouncing merrily in the sling attached to my front, almost colliding into another mama with baby in the Ergo, bags of groceries to each side. Our eyes lock, we give each other a nod and the knowing smile. It’s like in this 3-second interaction, which may or may not even involve a “Hello!” (after all, we do live in San Francisco), we’ve already done the secret club handshake, butt-slap and Delta Delta Gamma members’-only chant. You changed five diapers just in the last two hours? Me too! You thought he was sleeping through the night, but then he reverted back to getting up every three hours again? Me as well! Right when you start to feel like you’ve nailed parenthood, and understand his cries and habits and rhythms, he changes it all up on you? That’s me! And so it goes. Somehow these little people have helped us gain admission to the greatest of clubs, Club Mama. We’re in, and with a quick nod of the head, we join the millions who have gone before us. I get you, and you get me…you’re in. You belong.
So I suppose that’s what I’m basking in right now: the club. If you were to ask me what I’m learning right now, I’m learning my baby and babies in general. I suppose that makes me the club historian. I had a phone conversation with my boss yesterday, and every ounce of baby brain seemed to permeate my thoughts and words and thus any effort at putting together a coherent sentence. It was exhausting. But I gave myself a big hunk of grace because of my club membership; although I’m sure most would scientifically classify it as sleep deprivation, the truth is that being in Club Mama means that I’m learning a whole new language. The world of parenthood is not for the faint of heart, and the amount of information I’m ingesting as a new member is overwhelming at times, to say the least. The content may not be the stuff rocket scientists are made of, but it’s certainly changing my world.
So, cheers. Cheers to the parents who have gone before us, who are going with us now, and who will be joining the membership rankings in the days and years to come. Might we continue to give each other that knowing glance and secret handshake, and instead of just slapping my butt, give it a squeeze while you’re at it. Reassure me. Let me know that I’m in. We’re in. We got this.