See, here’s the thing: I have a serious problem saying “no,” and I’m even worse at asking for help, and so I tend to paint myself into ridiculously impossible corners, much to the peril of those closest to me. Take, for instance, the fact that just two weeks ago, I agreed to write a book–an entire book!–by April 3. And another one by May 15. And take the kids to see their Papa Jimy for spring break. And help rep my kids’ school at my sister-in-law’s huge and wonderful Earth Day Fun Festival. And coordinate the neighborhood progressive dinner. And doesn’t Easter fall somewhere in there?
I know. I’m officially a crack head.
And all of this stuff piled one on top of the other means a lot of stuff is falling through the cracks: The girls’ twists are looking a little raggedy, my hair looks like a bird’s sloppy nest, we’re all about to fall into a pasta-for-dinner-every-night-induced coma, the laundry has officially become another piece of furniture in my bedroom, and my poor dog, who hasn’t been to the groomer since (I’m embarrassed to say), smells like ass.
Simply put: I’m overwhelmed and everyone’s suffering.
And like a knight in shining armor sent to save a damsel in distress, my friend Gretchen intuitively sensed all of this, and in the past week, took extraordinary measures to save me from myself. She took in my kids after school. She fed them dinner. She even bought my Lila an outfit for her star turn in tonight’s talent show, in which she and Gretchen’s daughter, the ever lovely Maggie, will perform a comedy skit telling knock-knock jokes. And when Gretchen wasn’t babysitting/feeding my kids/running around town for me, she was calling me on the phone, giving me welcomed and much-needed comedic breaks from my lap top, which has seen more action these past two weeks than an Elliott Spitzer call girl.
This is all to say that I love me some Gretchen–not just because she hooked a sistah up this week, but because she saw me, a fellow mom, drowning. And without hesitation/asking, she threw me a lifeline–several, actually. And did it with a smile and that all-knowing, mom-to-mom/girl-you-know-I-got-your-back sentiment that goes unspoken, but is felt in the most visceral of ways..
Understand that these kinds of friends are rare. Life gets so busy and we all get so consumed with our own work/families/responsibilities/stuff that we move through the day with our nose to the grind, unaware that someone is in need of that helping hand–and maybe a little too proud to ask. Gretchen is selfless–never waits for me to wave the white flag or ring the alarm. She just makes it do what it do.
And for this, and above all else, her friendship, I am truly grateful.
For sure, it is the little things that mean everything.
Thank you, Gretchen, for the lifeline(s).