To begin with, let me state for the record things I do not want to do on Mother's Day. Or any other day for that matter:
1. Wake up at 6:45am. (Not a morning person)
2. Eat at Olive Garden (Goes without saying)
3. Install a carseat (while running an hour an a half late to an event)
So, this Mother's Day wasn't all bubble baths and breakfast in bed. But, to be honest Hubby and I have never really been big on the Hallmark Holidays. Nonetheless, I was just a wee bit bitter at 7am as he rested peacefully in bed* while I fed Danger (read: got cottage cheese thrown in my hair). My bitterness quickly evaporated as it always does after a strong cup of coffee. And Mother's Day evolved into a comedy of errors that ultimately ended in a wonderful evening with close friends.
But, this is less about my Mother's Day. This is about another mother whom I have never met. Never spoken to. Never had even the slightest contact with other than a stream in my Twitter feed for the past many years.
I don't know @queenofspain. To confess, I rarely catch her Tweets these days in the onslaught of information. Prior to my first BlogHer in 2006, I signed on to Twitter as a way to understand exactly what this social media thing was really all about. I began by following a handful of smart, snarky and utterly hilarious women. And I got hooked. Throughout the years this handful was a lifeline during a difficult pregnancy and even more difficult 1st year with Danger. These women validated my crazy.
In more recent years, Twitter has morphed into more of a professional resource. The personal interactions I have are largely with the same circle of people and I filtered myself to sanity at the cost of losing touch with some of those early moms that I valued the most. The ones who completely unknowingly held my hand across the world wide web. Now, just to be clear, none of these women can be wrapped us as just "moms." Erin Kotecki Vest is a political power house and I probably subconsciously avoid her stream to protect myself from feelings of civic inadequacy. She is solely responsible for introducing me to one of my most favorite hashtags ever. #suckit But, today, on Mother's Day, she is above all an inspirational mom.
Every so often, while I am waiting for the coffee to brew or stuck in traffic, I'll scroll through my Twitter stream. And this morning I saw this:
What follows throughout the day is a chronicle of a pretty crappy Mother's Day, not to mention a painful and scary health crisis. OK, so, I don't know this person. But I was compelled to follow her narrative. I was inspired by the raw honesty
the mom's protectiveness
the ability to laugh even when stuck in a hospital hall for hours
and mostly by the bond she shares with her husband. As they exchange banter he is at times protective
and witty. (I can sooo see Hubby tweeting this while I am hooked to an IV writhing in pain)
So, there were times when I thought to myself, "Why the hell are you Tweeting??? Put the phone down and rest!" But then I realized that I was fully reading all of these Tweets. So, what the hell is wrong with me that I am following the personal details of a life I know nothing about? Does that make me a freaky voyeur stalker? Her a Twitter addict who shares way too much?
Honestly, some might say so. But, not me. In the midst of my whacky Mother's Day, I found inspiration and humor (and a touch of humility) as another woman's day unfolded in time with mine. Little did this stranger know that hundreds of miles away I was commiserating and laughing and remembering why I got hooked on this Twitter thing in the first place. It connects me to people I've yet to meet who give me a swift kick in the ass for wallowing in my Olive Garden snootiness. And stories that captivate my attention because they inspire, validate and reflect the strong, snarky and honest woman I aspire to be. A woman who in the midst of calamity can find perspective and is brave enough to share it with a gal like me.
Thank you, Erin. Happy Mother's Day.
* Hubby 100% deserved to sleep after pulling a 4:30AM shift, having lunch with my family, soothing our tantrum throwing toddler and then rushing to a tasting for the restaurant he is days away from opening. To hell with Mother's Day and Father's Day. It's Parents' Day every day in our life.