Mommy Mayhem · School Talk

A Mother’s Day Love Letter to my Mom Squad

Dearest Mom Squad,

As we approach another Mother’s Day (and it’s looking like a rainy one for me and my Rhode Island pals), I couldn’t resist the urge to say a few things about you and to thank you for being the people in my village who are always there for me to help keep the trains running on time. (Ok, well, for those who know me in a day to day kinda way, that whole train thing is a metaphor and not meant to imply that my trains actually run on time. But you all keep them from falling off the tracks.)

You are a formidable and varied bunch from far and wide, beautiful women of different backgrounds, different races, different politics, different cultures, and different ways of doing things.  Some of you go to bed with a sink full of dishes like I do (anyone, anyone?) while others have the kitchen looking spotless every night before bed. A few of you love to talk and banter about politics; others of you would rather stab yourselves in the eye than talk politics. Some of you are big bargain shoppers like me, others are clad in fancy handbags and designer flip-flops. Some of you actually like doing crafts and making things and know how to handle a glue gun like nobody’s business while others have anxiety when you step into Michaels. (That’s me!) And some of you crazy chicks even wash your colors and whites separately all the time. (Ok, I think all of you might do that. Whatever.)

But there is something that all of you different ladies have in common: you are strong as hell. Every single day you make it all happen for your kids and in some cases, for other people’s kids too (shout out to the teachers, principals, deans, school librarians, and others in my mom squad who literally work with kids every day!)

To my Baseball Moms:

Why not put my cup on mom’s laptop, right?
Blair and Kristen have spent hundreds (thousands?!) of hours with me at fields in at least 4 states.

You have, for years now, been my companions on the hottest and coldest of days when it feels like the answer to our usual “what inning is it” should be, “oh, it’s the 218th inning for f*** sake.” We have shared laughs about pretty much everything from finding our boys’ cups (yeah, the baseball kind) all over the house, to how absurd it is that we can’t even go to the beach on the most perfect beach day because our kid is pitching tonight. Or it’s playoffs. Or we could have a game tonight. (I’m so positive that this whole baseball and swimming thing is the man’s version of you have to wait an hour to swim after eating.) We have watched our boys grow year to year and been there for their home-runs and their slumps, their most painful losses and their greatest wins, their injuries, their strikeouts, and their triumphs on and off the field.  You have been there for me countless times when I needed help to get my boys where they needed to be and you’ve listened to me lose my s*** over last minute scheduling changes that have turned my day upside down and prompted me to have a short and irrational tantrum in my driveway (only further complicated by my car alarm that wouldn’t shut off because I was way too flustered to press the right button to shut it off. I owe you Patti.) When people say they’d “hate to have my life” because of all the sports (yes, people say that kind of often), I know you get why I love it so much and how I wouldn’t trade it for anything, even when it makes me a little psycho. I know you understand how frustrated my son is when he can’t hit and I know you get how excited I am for him when he hits one over the fence or makes an incredible play in the field. You all accept that I’m not that mom who has all her ducks in a row and brings the kick-ass cooler full of cold gatorades and water and that I might even need to borrow a water for one of my boys because I left theirs on the counter.

And I love you for all of that.


To my EduMoms:

A Minnesota Mom with a NJ Mom, both huge advocates for kids.
Meet Keri, aka EduMom (and my Planet Mom Radio partner.)

We share a passion for improving education that can turn ugly sometimes and knowing you are there makes all the difference. When others roll their eyes because Sanzi’s talking education again, you don’t. When I want to talk about my concerns about the staggering achievement gaps we see, in even some of the “best” districts, you are always game. When I am beside myself over yet another case of sexual abuse by a teacher inside a school, you understand. In fact, you all propel me forward with your own courage to take on a system that usually doesn’t want to hear from us. You force people to face hard truths and you bring attention to some of the most wonderful stories out there in edu-land. You stand up to dishonest politicians, call out corruption when you see it, work to lift up the voices of the parents who are rarely heard, and share your own painful and personal stories with the world in the hope that it will help someone else. Some of you had a pretty comfy life like I did; many of you did not. You come to this work by way of remarkable challenges and obstacles and I am so very blessed not only to know you but to feel confident every single day that you have my back.

And I love you for all of that.

To my old (and newer) friends near and far:

Carrie and Lena, friends since 1st grade.

You guys range in age from way younger than me to ‘gettin’ pretty up there and you live all over the place. Some of you were my teachers and others were my students. A few of you were my colleagues at schools in Massachusetts or California or Rhode Island. Some of you I met because our kids go to school together and others are actually the moms of my friends (and even ex-boyfriends!) You are a mixed bag of awesomeness and wisdom and wit. You are people I trust and admire and know that I could call upon any time if I needed you. Some of you grew up poor, some of you grew up rich, some of you speak Spanish (and are working on your English!) and all of you are knocking this Mom thing right out of the park. I learn from you whether you are nearby or far away and I treasure that somewhere along my journey, you appeared. You who are far away light up Facebook with the best stories of what’s happening in your corner of the world and I delight in all of it. You are the ones who taught me to cook, traveled abroad with me, stayed by my side during my darkest of days, and accepted that I have a habit of talking about deep and exhausting stuff when no one else wants to. (No wonder I hate tailgating!) You made me feel welcome when I was new to a city that was your home. You continue to give me your take when I need it and you ask me for mine. You listen when I need to vent or be petty and you tell me where you think I’m going wrong.

And I love you for all of that.

And to my own mother:

I wouldn’t have had this rich and wonderful life in which I have this amazing mom squad if it weren’t for you (and Dad but this Sunday isn’t Father’s Day so…). You have been that constant, always there, always generous, always helpful, and always encouraging me in school, in my work, and in motherhood.  You’re also the most stylish about- to-turn-70-year old I know.

And I love you for all of that.

So Mom Squad, no matter where you are this Sunday, know that there is a middle-aged mom of three boys in Little Rhody who is so grateful for all that you have brought and continue to bring to her life. Thank you, thank you, thank you. #MomSquad #MothersDay2017

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