04 Jan To My Mom Crush
It started out like any Sunday morning, where I watched as tiny toddlers ran, bounced, climbed and raced between the different play areas, leaving push-bikes strewn across the floor for the next kid to pick up and ride off into the… jumping castle? I sat in a quiet corner of the play centre, watching my kids play and interact with others when I looked up and saw your family.
In my head, it played over like a 90’s romcom, where the lead’s crush walks into class and she tries to act cool, only to embarrass herself! Thankfully, I didn’t get that far, because my head kept screaming; HOW DO THESE PEOPLE HAVE THREE KIDS!? They look so fresh and… together!
I live online, where everything seems curated, rehearsed and posed, but as I watched you and your husband interact with your children, I couldn’t help but notice that behind the matching denim jackets and “togetherness,” you had a genuine authenticity about the way you carried yourself. Like, this wasn’t some role you played, but that you really do wake up with hair that is never out of place and it wasn’t intentional that you all had matching denim jackets. In fact, it probably took no time at all, to get your three kids under 4 years old, dressed and to “brunch” earlier today.
Your poise, grace and style – like proper, genuine Victorian Beckham mom style – was something I had never witnessed IRL. I sat wondering whether your kids ever talk back to you? Do they fight over the same book every night, like mine do? Do you sometimes forget to buy milk? I somehow doubt it.
I went home, yapping on and on about you. Asking my husband if he thought you all had personal stylists, or maybe you guys had a photo shoot earlier that morning? But that didn’t make sense, because you could see that this was just who you were; you had your shit together.
By Monday morning, I had forgotten all about you. Probably because we were running late, and in the mad rush of packing lunch, wiping snotty noses and getting both kids buckled up and into the car, your perfection just didn’t cross my mind. I mean, why would it… it’s not like I would see you again.
There I am, wearing an oversized stained t-shirt that I slept in, dirty hair up in a bun, and trying my best to hold my shit together as my kid rambles over 100 questions, while I try to hurry him up. I’m doing the quick look over, where I check that everything he needs, is in fact, in his school bag. “Did the youngest unpack it again? Did I pack enough juice? Shit, I left the sunscreen. I bet this is going to result in another “Dear parents, please remember to pack sunscreen and a cap every day!” SMS.” My thoughts are interrupted when another parent holds the door open for us to walk in. I look up to do the polite nod of thanks when I realize… it’s you.
What!? I mean, of course, your kids attend this school. All three of them! (does a mental calculation of just how expensive that must be.) My kid continues rambling off his questions, while I politely smile, say thanks and get the kids inside, hoping you don’t recognize me from the day before.
Several times this term, we’ve had the same run-in. I look like a hopeless mess, swearing under my breath and trying my best to get my kid to his class with as little of as a fight as possible. While you look posh, your makeup is flawless, you wear heels almost every day but I am pretty sure that they’re just part of your foot because your small framed body literally glides between classes, as you drop the twins and your eldest off. I mean, would it be weird for me to create a Pinterest board based on your style, alone? Where did you even find a kimono like that? Is that how jeans are meant to be worn?? They certainly don’t look like that on me!
I imagine that after dropping the kids, you rush to work (you’re too smartly dressed to be heading to a Pilates class!) you sip green smoothies, crush deadlines, and all in time to catch your twins’ soccer game, before heading home and making a dinner that all three kids gobble up without ever complaining.
Silently, I hope that one day, when I am grown up, I will be half the adult you are. But seriously, that kimono – where did you get it!?
The holidays have come, and I am literally shopping for gifts a day before “Santa comes to town!” Can I have my shit any less together? I am standing in an aisle, picking out desserts to take along to tomorrow’s lunch, listening to the familiar sound of a mom in the next aisle losing her shit. I smile to myself, knowing that I am destined to the same fate.
D comes along with the trolley, with the loud hum of our children demanding something or other. We’re about to go up into the next aisle when an elderly man stops in front of us. It’s the festive season, shops are busy, and the only way to survive this shop is by remaining patient. That’s when I hear the same mom from the aisle before shout at her dad to move out the way and as he does, he reveals you – a dishevelled, messy, and almost unrecognizable you, but in your eyes, I see it… the wild, familiar, glint that screams “get me the F out of here!”
And right there, I realized that you’re just like me; your kids DO argue, they probably hate the food you cook, you’re always holding the door open for me, because like me, you’re late! You sometimes feel out of place, you lose your shit and maybe even swear under your breath. Your life with three kids goes beyond the matching denim and effortless style. It’s messy and real, and just like me, you’re losing your shit in aisle number 9 the day before Christmas.
I guess I’ll see you in the new term and maybe we’ll both join the PTA and eventually become friends, so you can tell me where you got that kimono and other secrets of looking like you have your life together. J/K. We’re never joining the PTA because we missed signups last year, and were probably late to the meeting. So, I guess, I will see you around
The Messy Mom from Group 4