It was a typical Thursday. 15 minute shower moments before school pickup. J picked up last and me out of breath. Go get B, walk to Taekwondo. Have them suck down some cheez-its on the way for some solid energy and sustenance. Throw their taekwondo backpacks at them and tell them 14 times to take off their socks and shoes and put them in their backpacks and quietly and respectfully go to the back room to change into their uniforms, careful the whole time not to offer any physical assistance since the coach has instructed me that they need to do it entirely by themselves and I don’t want to get yelled at. Then begins 45 minutes of FREE time. We, 2 other mom friends with babies and I, head to our typical coffee shop. By the time we get there, settle the babies and get a drink and begin to dive into a deep conversation about different gray possibilities for painting our living room, I glance at the phone and scream, “4:17!!!!!!” “OMG what time do we get them? 4:15?” screams the other mom. Everyone scrambling to get babies packed up and since I’m solo I offer to run ahead since we are 4 blocks away. I run back (don’t want to get yelled at for being late), ditch my tea, and get there out of breath to greet 5 kids that need help with socks, shoes, taekwondo belts, water, hats, and coats. We emerge from the studio to greet our mom friends, who just arrived and all 5 kids are set to go.
Now begins the sidewalk football game with all of them. Just about every throw lands the football in the street at which point all of us yell, “DON’T GET IT!” I’m pretty sure a car window is going to get shattered, but, hey, we moms have to keep talking about whatever it is we talk about. We are literally outside the studio until the next class gets out. “Ok, time to head home! Ok, time to go. Time to go. Seriously, time to go. Guys, let’s go. Ok, say goodbye to Z and D and L and D and B. Ok, last throw. Did you not hear me? Last throw. Ok, last catch. Yes, you did hear me. Are you seriously whining we’ve been playing for 45 minutes? No iPad. Well I told you 14 times and I shouldn’t have to repeat myself 14 times (maybe 13). I’m walking. Bye. LET’S GO!!!!”
The walk home begins. We walk the next 3 blocks with our friends. 4 boys throwing and catching the football while trying to walk home and not get hit by a car. We get to not-at-all-the-finest-corner-in-Hoboken and all of a sudden all the boys freeze and M (mom friend) and I glance over at what looks like a radioactive fence (notice picture) and see the football on the other side.
There’s no open gate. Nothing. The only way in is over the top. The top of the fence is borderline barbed wire. So like any good mom I pull J (4) off the fence as he’s trying to scale it and send B (7) up. I’m grabbing him from the back, ya know for support? But when he gets to the fence spikes on top he can’t make it over. I pull him back down, first making sure that his brand new, expensive winter jacket that I fully expected him to wear for 2 winters snags on the deadly fence spikes and rips it.
Ok, there’s only one way. I think M fully expected us to say goodbye to the football. That didn’t even occur to me. This is the football that’s “perfect, the one everyone loves to play with, favorite blue/green colors, has the cool grippy things on it.” There’s no way I’m letting it go.
I strip off my jacket, scarf, and hat. Throw them in the stroller. I have my awesome shearling boots on (so soft and warm inside you don’t even need socks) and I begin to scale the fence. Everyone goes silent. I think stunned to silence. I realize quickly that the little fence holes are too small to fit my boots so I tell M I need to drop the boots, which is exactly what I do. From mid-fence I drop the boots to the ground at which point M gasps, “OMG! You don’t even have socks on?!?” Nope. Now it’s January, very much winter, and I’m scaling a fence in my bare feet. I get to the spikes on top and it was almost all over. But somehow I make it over and jump into the radioactive, closed-off danger zone where the football is. I run across the grass in my bare feet hoping I don’t land on broken glass. I toss the football over.
Now I start heading back over. Here’s your real-life action shot.
It’s not pretty I know. Notice how my toes are curled in that fence. Holding on by my toe nails is just what this is folks. Much harder going back and there was a pause there mid way when my sweatshirt snagged on the spikes and I wasn’t sure if I was making it back over. Notice how my hands are delicately placed in between the spikes so as not to pierce my palm. I made it back as here I am to tell you this fine story.
This is what I was greeted with: a red carpet and champagne and I believe confetti. The boys all holding hands saying in unison how they admire and respect me, how they are in awe of my strength and determination, how they can’t imagine a finer mom than me. And then asked repeatedly, how can we make the rest of your evening just even a little bit better and smoother? We love and adore you Mommy, you fine example of a determined parent.
Or maybe on second thought it was immediate return to play, football in the air and fighting over whose turn it was and then whining the whole way home. But at least my friend M was there who was moved to tears. Well, the “I’m dying, like I can’t believe you just scaled a fence in bare feet in the middle of winter to get a football” kind of tears. And without her I wouldn’t have these fine pictures.
And there you have it. Just your typical January Thursday.