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Hide & Seek

She tip toed out of her son's room. Closing the door with the precision of a member of the bomb squad. Pausing for a brief moment to ensure she hadn't woken him up. She had been thinking about this moment all day, every day, for a couple of days. His teething and her lack of sleep had led her to crying in the bathroom a couple of times already this week.

She tiptoed down the stairs, stepping over toys strewn about the living room floor, as she unplugged the heated blanket from the sofa. She walked past the kitchen table full of dried pasta noodles and smushed bananas. It could wait. It had to wait. When she reached the back door she slipped on her coat, hat, gloves, and grabbed a White Claw from the fridge. She stopped with her hand on the door, listening closely to the baby monitor. The silence of a sleeping baby.

The kitchen door squeaked ever so slightly as she opened it causing her pulse to quicken. She sucked in the cold air as she winced at the sound. The burst of cold air cooling her down. Now that her son was more mobile, nap time had become a WWE event and despite the fact that it was winter, she was sweating.

Hmm, built in cooler she thought as she stuck her White Claw into an almost gone snow bank.

Walking quickly across the yard (nap time is only so long), she swiftly opened the shed and grabbed her gravity chair and an extension cord. She ran the orange extension cord from the shed out to the middle of the yard where the sun was plentiful. Within minutes she had the chair set up and the heated blanket plugged in.

It may have only been 33 degrees out but she leaned back in her chair, pulled the baby monitor out of her pocket, cracked open the White Claw and cranked her heated blanket on to full blast. Finally, she closed her eyes.

Yes there was laundry that needed folding and a dinner that was most certainly not going to cook itself, but she needed this. It had been a tough week and she was feeling for lack of a better word, empty. She had heard people say that you can't pour from an empty cup and they were right. The thing is moms do it all the time. Like Mary a Poppins' bag they keep magically finding the strength and determination to keep going. Their cups appearing empty, yet still filling everyone else's. And today, she needed this nap time as much as he did.

She closed her eyes and leaned back. The cold air filled her nostrils. With each slow deliberate breath she felt herself melt into the chair under the warmth of the heated blanket. It didn't matter if it was cold, it was perfect. She could feel the vitamin D seeping in and awakening her soul. Mother nature was providing her what she needed to be the best mom she could be even if it was just for the rest of the day.

Startled by a noise she jumped, grabbing the monitor from her pocket, thinking maybe the baby had already woken. To her surprise her neighbor was dragging a chair over. She said nothing as she set up her pink and white folding chair on the side of her. She could tell her neighbor had been crying. She didn't ask why, she didn't need to. Her neighbor was also a mom. She knew not only how rewarding it was, but also how hard it was. She knew that there were days where you didn't feel like the mom you thought you'd be. Days where you felt like you didn't know what you were doing, but she also knew that moms need each other. They need each other to listen, and to understand.

In that moment, she was so grateful to have someone she could be real with. A person who would walk the journey of mother hood with her instead of standing by on the sidelines judging.

They sat in silence, breathing in the cold air, quietly filling their cups together.

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