Not long ago (it was a year, but I remember it like it was yesterday…), I went to a Justin Timberlake concert.
My fierce, inner 13 year old fan girl was brought to life by my husband, when he casually tossed this one little sentence (
that would change my life) at me, “Sarah, pick a friend because I got you two tickets to see Justin Timberlake in concert tomorrow night!”
My reply might have went a little like this: hands in the air, over my mouth, now flailing in the air while I dramatically yelled, “Are you serious? What?! Oh My God! No Way! You’re joking!?!!?!?!”
When it was apparent he was serious, I followed up with a strange happy dance, which probably looked like I was a victim of convulsions, while I squealed like a school girl, or a dying cat–I’m realistic about my ear piercing tone-deafness–and when it all became too much, I dramatically fainted.
Fainted! Okay, that’s a lie, but…
It’s. Justin. Timerberlake.
I’m a millennial; we ALL LOVE JT. If you don’t, we can’t be friends.
I’m sure that Travis momentarily thought about shredding those tickets. (This was 2014, not 2001 when I had braces, my room was covered in every JT poster I could rip straight out of J-14 and Seventeen Magazine, listening to the N’SYNC album with the songs ‘it’s gonna be me’ and ‘tearing up my heart’ on repeat, daydreaming about the day I’d become Mrs. Timberlake. Back then, I was certain it was going to happen, along with 10 million other girls, but hey…)
So I snatch the tickets from THE BEST HUSBAND EVER, drive to my friend’s house,
kidnap throw her in the vehicle, and we blaze the trail to OKC. Of course, we have the best time–Justin is beyond incredible, the seats are amazing, and I swore JT actually made eye contact with me for like .0005 seconds, but it happened ( in my head).
See…He totally spotted me (from ten, okay it was really thirty feet away)
Afterward, high on emotions of seeing Justin Timberlake live, my friend and I go to a pizza joint in downtown, the only place open after midnight that’s not ‘da club’. This is where I should tell you that I’m a weird social person–day to day life, I’m a hermit. I don’t leave my house often (it’s that whole taking care of six people thing, relentless housework), but when I do go out for social events, my filter completely vanishes. I end up talking to everyone (the waiter, clerk, random person in the parking lot, old man standing outside ‘da club’), I literally Don’t. Shut. Up. I think it’s a disease. Or it’s that I’m at home mainly trading conversation with a two-year old all day, every day and when I get adult interaction I freak the freak out.
So I’m standing inside the pizza joint talking to a stranger, who is female. I think we’re bonding over our love of JT, but there is only so many times you can trade back and forth that the concert was ah-mazing before you have to pick another subject. My intro is always, I have four kids–for the record, yes, I want sympathy, because I’m probably on the spot, caught red-handed achieving at procrastination on an epic level. “Yes…four kids, I know, it’s crazy, all the time, and I don’t even know how I survive…” I might even throw in a tear or two, followed with complete facial exasperation so it’s oscar worthy. I’m sick, I know.
Confession: I have a procrastination addiction. There, now you know.
But honestly, the beauties are tons of work and Jim Gaffigan nailed it when he said this about having four kids, “Imagine your drowning and then someone hands you a baby.” If there is one thing the beauties give me, it’s
heartache, headaches, delusions…I’m kidding, a little/lot, but truly they give me confidence. I am keeping them alive, I’m raising them to be good human beings, teaching them values, life lessons all the things that make motherhood so freaking gorgeous…
Even talking about my kids makes me feel dressed in confidence, so there I am, proclaiming that I actually grew four tiny humans inside me, when the stranger shoots back, “why would you do that to yourself?”
I was momentarily stunned. I try my best to avoid awkward situations (talking to strangers doesn’t count)—I don’t have the coping skills, and it physically paralyzes me until I have enough adrenaline to run away.
After I blinked, frozen in time, sinking further into those seconds—the ones that break the ice leading into a pool of awkward silence—I finally sucked in a breath, feeling my palms tingle.
It. Might. Have. Took. Everything. I. Had. Not. To. Slap. The. Beetle. Juice. Out. Of. Her.
In that fleeting moment, I couldn’t grasp any words to defend myself, (I was still high on Justin Timberlake, did I mention he was 10 feet from me? And I’d just consumed four, I mean two, really it was only one slice of pizza and tequila (we won’t count that)), so in response I laughed—it’s was too loud, too maniac sounding—probably the sound that Carrie makes before she burns it down.
I won’t go as far to say that I’m not confrontational, but I’m far better sparring when I can ‘write my feelings’ than on the spot disputes—I think my husband has started fearing letters from me, “this is a love note, right?”
Even after I laughed, I still found myself reaching for the benefit of the doubt, surely she was kidding, right?
Maybe, maybe not.
But hear me when I say, there was no humor to be had by me. And I usually laugh, or smile when I have the all four beauties trailing behind me in Wal-Mart–the scene is dotted by at least one screaming, walking too far ahead, or just plain out having a bad day and usually people will say as they pass us, “bless your heart, my you have your hands full, or geez that’s a lot of weddings to pay for.”
I can play that game, usually it’s harmless—I know it well, and have probably heard it all.
I have a good sense of humor, and if my husband has taught me anything, it’s to laugh at myself. Maybe I was hypersensitive that night, but by choice, and one that obviously not everyone agrees with—Travis and I decided that four it was, and we have never looked back.
“Why would you do that to yourself?” It was a snub that I took so very personally, because I have made my girls my life—chose to forgo my own career aspirations so that I could keep having babies, while my husband missed so many firsts, working to provide for his large family. The statement she made robbed me temporarily of any joy in the CHOICE of having a large family, like maybe it was wrong.
What was she getting at? Worried about the impact four lives would have on this Earth—like are the beauties going to eat all the food supply? Take all the vaccinations? Cause the economy to fail?
See, four doesn’t look scary, right?
Laugh with me…just laugh.
Or did she think I was missing something by having four? Believe me I’ve missed plenty, I was pregnant and nursing over half my 11 year marriage to date, but it was bliss (not all the time, but when it counts) and I have no regrets. I believe in the power of choice and what works for you as an individual.
And I also believe in the power of opinions. Have them, you are entitled to them, but yes here comes the but, I also believe that what you do with that opinion reflects your character. In anything and everything, but especially Motherhood, we need to take a step back and severely re-think what we let out of our mouths towards one another. We have got to be tolerant of others—what you may see, may not be someone else’s vision for their own life. You don’t have to agree, but you should be kind.
Compassion people…for the love.
When someone tells you that they have one kid, two kids, or even twenty kids, and that they work full-time, part-time, or stay at home…smile and offer them chocolate or wine, or even just a dang hug, because Motherhood is freaking hard no matter how many you have. Period.
Now go hug a mama, she needs it!