Sunday, February 1, 2009

Ocean City

I spent the weekend in Ocean City with some girlfriends. This weekend was designed to be a respite, a break from the constant demands on our time, our bodies, our energy, our spirits.

I guess it goes without saying that all of these girlfriends are mothers of at least two children.

You would think that five women without children or husbands in tow would be carefree and wild, ready to let loose and party down. You would be thinking wrong. We drank wine, ate Pringles, slept, took walks, told stories, and read trashy magazines. All. Weekend. Long.

In fact, to truly drive home the point, let me confess this: I brought along Joel, and another friend brought her four-month-old daughter. We were the wild and crazy group of five exhausted mothers...and two babies.

If my pre-child self was reading this, I would immediately call my OB and double my birth control prescription. Before the boys, my travel needed to be purposeful and things needed to be seen and done. Spending the entire weekend in a condo, sharing stories and lounging, would make me want to crawl out of my skin.

Now, though, I welcome the chance to talk to other women, to learn where they've been, and where they are now. This sounds very Lillith Fair, but learning how other women navigate the shared experiences of womanhood---friendships, family, love, death, birth, parenting, and the ever-present need to do it all and take care of it all---helps me. Being a woman is a song as old as eternity---and with each story shared, each nodded head, each knowing laugh---the song becomes more complex and beautiful.

I'm grateful for my Pringles, the quiet moments to linger with the ladies, the opportunity to watch Joel explore his feet and his world. The waves crashed against the shore, the wind blew, but for a weekend, in a condo in Ocean City, we were at peace.

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