We leave for Alabama (‘bama! ‘bama! fist pump, fist pump!) on Wednesday, joining the millions of other Crazies who’ve decided to make the trek across miles in that time period affectionately known as The Holidays.
Now my own insanity – which bears no relation to the work out regime of the same name, currently collecting dust in the media cabinet, having been used a total of 2.5 times before my wedding three and half years ago in an attempt to look Super Duper Hot in a large amount of white fabric – like a fine vintage merlot, has only increased with time. Maybe it’s because the daunting, question-filled, idealized twenties are behind me, and now in my mid-thirties, I’ve finally begun to embrace The Real Me.
So I whisper the words “high-waisted denim” to the saleslady at Nordstrom, and hope that she doesn’t confuse my statement with the pegged, acid-washed Mom Jeans of the women of my youth (although those could totally be in now and I’d have no clue). Because I just want to hide my Baby Buddha gut – is it really so sinful of a Club Mama desire?
I find myself not saying I’m sorry as much anymore, at least not in an apologetic White Woman sort of way – mostly because I accept me for me, and not for who I think You want Me to be. I let bygones be bygones, and I choose not to read into what isn’t there, because I believe in the narrative story of each of our lives, and in the Divine Storyteller who apparently doesn’t need my meddling as much as I think he does.
Really, I stop living in fear, and when the little old lady introducing Anne Lamott on Thursday night asks if there’s anyone in the audience who needs to be introduced to Annie, my hand shoots in the air. I stand up – because I’m already in the front row, you see – and she walks down the steps of the sanctuary and we shake hands. Just like that. Because what have I to fear? Of course I want to be introduced to my Mentor; she is, after all, writing the forward for my book someday (even if she doesn’t quite know it yet).
Which brings us back to Point A: we’re flying across country on the busiest travel day of the year, and then back again five days later. Hand me a strait-jacket now.
But I’m embracing the Crazies in all their glory. I’ll overstuff the diaper bag with Cancan-friendly food, and – don’t tell our pediatrician – we’ll probably bust out the iPhone for Baby to stare at, just to tide him over. I’ll plaster a smile on my face and I’ll search the haggard crowd for that One Joy-Filled Face, locking knowing eyes, gleaning their bliss. I’ll laugh when I realize I’ve been staring at the same paragraph for the past five minutes, realizing that even though I’d really, really like to read The Book Thief on today’s flight, I’m really, really not going to get to read The Book Thief on today’s flight. And that too is okay.
Instead, I’ll smile at the HBH who’s playing Giddy-up on his knee with a bouncing, giggling, ferociously delighted Little Man, jarring the passenger in front of him for the 12th time in the last minute. And when we finally arrive in Huntsville, recounting the stories that make up traveling with a 16-month old, we’ll sit back and we’ll soak up our dear ones.
We’ll cook collard greens together and eat deep-fried Paula Deen turkey together, we’ll go on walks together and watch football together and we’ll laugh, laugh, laugh at the woeful tales we all just had – because it’s just life, and really, it’s just another day, and well, we’re just crazy is all it is.
But really, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
What about you? Are you getting your crazies on this week, traveling to see dear ones? And, more importantly, do you rock the Mom Jeans?