(Now, before rumors of Awkward love-children start, we have to tell you that she means "sisters" in the largest possible sense. In fact, we think she is referring to the entirety of females. Like all of them. The Perfect Moms to the Awkward Moms. The Young Sisters to the Old Sisters. The Hawaiian Sisters to the Maine Moms. The Madagascar Moms to the Siberia Sisters. The Grand-Moms to the Not-Moms. All the Sisters. Even that weird multi-scarfed sister at the park yesterday who lectured Awkward Mom about the evils of sugar for about a quarter of an hour. She is gonna keep on eating sugar, but she means you too, Weird Many-Scrafs-No-Sugar Sister. You too.)
As I was saying, Dearest Sisters-
Each and every one of you. All of you; every single square in the massive, beautifully chaotic quilt that makes up the female part of the population of the earth. Now, don't get me wrong. I am fond of the men as well. They are cool and all. In fact, I am deeply in love with one particular man, for no one will ever get the genius of the Big Lebowski, the gloriousness of cheese, or me quite like Awkward Dad. And I am falling more and more in love with the other 2 men I share a house with; Super Toddler and Super Preschooler. All in all, an excellent man and excellent men-in-training. But this letter is for you, my sisters (Super Baby included!). For without you, there would simply be no me at all.
John Donne said that "No man is an island," and that is kinda what I am getting at. Now, Sarah Addison says that "We're connected, as women. It's like a spiderweb. If one part of that web vibrates, if there's trouble, we all know it," and that is what I really mean. We are all connected. I am not me without the thousands of threads that connect me to you, my lovely sisters; my interaction with you and your generosity with me is what has formed me and continues to allow me to grow on my life journey. And I wanted you all to know how much I appreciate that and love you.
Do we disagree? Sure. Do we fight? Occasionally. Have I gossiped about some of you with Awesome Mom? Yep, as recently as yesterday. Do I even like all of you? If I am being honest, no. Some of you rub me the wrong way sometimes. But I love you. That won't change. I will love you always. Thank you for helping me on my wild journey of womanhood. For without you, there would be a big hole in the spiderweb of women, and we can't have that, now can we? Can't abide holes; someone might fall in.
Thank you to my Awkward sisters; blood or no. You remind me that I am not alone when I trip or forget to bring wipes to the park. You make me feel like I can get my children to adulthood with no major injuries or too many Freudian problems. You make me feel loved and understood with nothing more than a rueful smile and a wink across Aldi while my children see who can slam the freezer doors the loudest. You have been there. You are there. You will be there again. Next to me and with me; I will not be alone in my awkwardness. This is not Middle School. And for that, I thank you.
Special thanks for my mother, Queen of the Awkwards; whose openness and tact could broker peace in the Middle East if someone would just let her, who always has food or the willingness to make you something, who thinks that a little glitter and some artfully draped cloth can transform any space into a party, and who taught me to invite everyone on in, muddy shoes or not, because being generous is the best thing you can do for someone. As I grow into adulthood, I treasure getting to know you in a sister way, as well as the always privilege that it is to be your daughter. I love you, Mom; thank you.
Thank you to the Perfect Moms, for what is a superhero without a nemesis? But more than that, you remind me that there are other ways to parent. More intense ways, for sure, but just as valid as mine. You remind me of how boring parenthood would be if it was just me and the other awkward moms. We would have no one to gossip about, for starters. Your drive, focus, and organization is how car seats were created, lead paint was banned, and how millions of children are afforded a quality education. You are tireless champions of your children and of children in general. I may envy your adorable outfits and your confident manner and I may bristle under your advice and contempt. But at the end of the day, you make me a better mom. You make me examine what I truly find important in parenting and you make me grow. Although, I don't often say it, I really do love you guys. Thanks!
Thank you to the Crunchy Moms, and Crunchy Sisters in general, for all your energy in getting more Whole Foods around the country and freer access to quinoa. I know that I horrify you when I drink Diet Pepsi at the park and offer my children Cheez-its, and, though I might roll my eyes when you start in on the aspartame lecture, I really does touch me that you are concerned for my health. For the health of all of us. And for the health and well-being of our planet. Your hearts are firmly in the right place. Thank you for being your delightfully crunchy selves and you are right, carob really does taste a little like chocolate! Thank you for all the granola and thanks for being you!
Thank you to my Political Sisters; the ones right next to me on issues and the ones miles away, shouting at me. It is for you that our ForeMothers marched, spoke-out, and truly suffered for suffrage, and you honor them when you stand firm to your beliefs (whatever they might be and how vastly they may differ from mine). You honor them all when you stand tall and refuse to go back into the kitchen. Unless you feel like making a sandwich for yourself, that is. Thank you for inspiring me to think deeper, educate myself always, and proudly show up to vote for what I think is right. Thank you.
Thank you to my Pinterest Sisters. You make the world a more beautiful place with your crafts. You make the world a tastier place with your recipes. You make the world a better place with your art and willingness to share that art. Thank you.
Thank you to my Pinterest Fail Sisters. You keep us all humble. Your sense of humor is amazing and your openness is inspiring. But it is your willingness to try that moves me the most. You are truly Get-Back-on-the-Horse Women. Thank you.
Thank you to my Faith-filled Sisters. My Christian Sisters. My Muslim Sisters. My Hindu Sisters. My Free-Form-New-Age Sisters who have a penchant for tide-dye and too many necklaces. Whatever direction your spiritual searches take you, thank you for your constant reaching for the divine and the willingness to talk about God. Thank you for the rainbows you provide in the darkness of doubt. Thank you for the prayers. Thank you for the rock-solid support and lack of judgment that you provide to me in my own searching. God bless you. Thank you.
Thank you to my Atheist Sisters, who remind me that the world is full of numerous ways to journey and that goodness needs no formal house. Thank you for letting me disagree with you and secretly pray for you, with good humor and limited eye rolling. God knows that I love you all. Thank you.
Thank you to my Working Mom Sisters, who march into the working world with an energy and drive that I couldn't even fake on my good days. I can not imagine how hard it is to leave your children and go forth to maintain the world's stores, schools, hospitals, roadways, factories, and offices, and you do it everyday, while fielding calls about sick children, homework help requests, and incessant demands about what is for dinner. You do it all to keep the world's economy running and your children supplied in shoes and bread. You are truly super women; thank you.
Thank you to my Stay-at-Home Sisters, who do the sometimes thankless and unsung jobs associated with making sure the children stay alive today. Anyone who can skillfully navigate the labyrinth that school pick-up can be deserves the highest praise indeed. You juggle a million daily needs in an age that wants to know when you are going back to work. Work. Because I guess what you are doing now does not meet the definition of work. And you don't get mad when asked that; you just gently smile, smoothing down your stained shirt, and talk about what a privilege it is to be able to stay home with your children. The privilege is being sisters with you. Thank you.
Thank you to my Not-Mom Sisters, who remind me that a family is not defined by the number of children in it. A family is defined by the love within it. You remind me that I am a human woman before all else, including motherhood. To only identify myself in my role as mother reduces me to only one part of a fascinating whole and puts a ridiculous amount of pressure on my children. You are a strong, varied tribe of endlessly interesting women and I could talk to you all for hours, if you had the time for that. Which you don't, being endlessly interesting and off on new adventures hourly. I am grateful for any moment I can steal with you though, thank you.
Thank you to my Grandmother Sisters. Your advice is invaluable, even when you want to give it to me in the parking lot during a rainstorm. Your repeated schooling to "enjoy it because it goes so fast" is finally sinking in. The delight that shines out of you when you behold my dirty, annoyingly energetic, sticky imps reminds me that childhood is messy and fast, and it is to be treasured as if it were the most priceless jewel in creation. For it is. You wanna know what else is priceless? You are. Thank you.
There are so many more groups of you that I could mention, but I will stop. You are all more than these groups anyway. You are all fully you. A foot in this camp, a finger in that pie; but completely unique and wonderfully you. Full of failures and triumphs, flaws and talents. Each and every one a thread on the magical spiderweb of women. Those of you that I get to see everyday and those of you that I will never meet. But sisters all. And I am proud to call each one of you my sister and I live my life in the attempt that you will be proud to claim me as well. Awkward or no. Once more, please know that:
I'm feeling like some cake. Anyone up for cake?