My friend L and I are masochists. This past weekend we hosted a Holiday Kids Party for 15 moms and 19 children at my house, complete with cookies to decorate, a silver star to bedazzle, and a skinny Indian Santa (my husband--who, to his horror, was called "Santa Uncle" by one of the older kids) to ogle. There were juice boxes for the kids, champagne for the mommas, and enough high-pitched shrieking to have qualified as a zoo. It was great. A few years ago it would have been unimaginable and, in fact, many of the moms in attendance admitted to furrowed brows upon getting the evite from me--you're hosting a what? But among the many thoughts that count as epiphany these days ("I am going to have to drive my children to school for the next 18 years") is this one: Motherhood has made me into an unmitigated sappy mess. Coupled with the general dose of sentimentality provided by the holidays--it's over, done, I am a cooked sappy goose.
The thing is, I have always been a sap. More "crying at Life is Beautiful" than "crying at Hallmark commercials"; more emailing my kids random thoughts than scrapbooking about their first steps, but a sap nonetheless. And this time of year forces reflection doesn't it? It's sort of the silver lining of the frantic-ness of the end of the year: You get to (albeit somewhat forcedly by the end of the calendar) take stock of things, try to get perspective on your year, think about the people who are important to you. That was the impetus for the Holiday Crack-y Kids Party, really. We wanted to take a moment to get all of these amazing women together. To see all of the kids who are going to grow up side by side. To mark the fact that life right now is absolute craziness, punctuated by tantrums, spilled juice, melt-downs--but aren't we lucky that we're all in it together? Like Tina Fey said, "I don't care how many covers you're on. When you're chasing a three-year-old around with a pull-up [diaper] hoping she won't poop on the floor, you're just like every other mom on the planet."
Because why not risk being sappy if it means showing gratitude. Why not take a moment to appreciate people, and the other moms we know, especially the ones who have gotten us this far. The ones who come over the night before the party to decorate with you, even though they are averaging 5 hours sleep a night and have multiple deadlines. The ones who you call and email for everything from advice on cold medicine for your toddler to borrowing bathing suits. The ones who have never forgotten your birthday, who you let bring food to your parties, who drive you to airports, who pick up your children from school when you are in a pinch, who ask you what your kids are up to and actually want to know, who appreciate how hard we work and how hard we try. The people who show up--for weddings and wakes alike. The people with whom we are all in this together.
Sappiness isn't always so bad. And even it if is, I am betting we're kind of stuck with it.