Well, last year I had the great fortune to make a new friend, Rebecca. We work together as Command Ombudsmen. We laugh at the stupidest inside jokez together, and we Facebook message/text/talk on the telephone together more than any two people ought to, but the crazy thing is that we are even friends at all.
You see, Rebecca and I couldn’t BE more different.
Rebecca loves to be outside. She likes to hike and do outdoorsy things while I’m all …
Rebecca loves the mountains. She says she finds her peace in them. I find the mountains that I am temporarily sentenced to suffocating. On the odd sunny day, I do appreciate their beauty, but deep down in my soul I long for sandy beaches, salty air, and a view of nothing but the wide blue ocean.
Rebecca bakes homemade bread, eats all organic fruits and vegetables, and has a pantry stocked with things like … beet chips. I am addicted to Classic Lay’s, have recently learned to cook zucchini (for the first time in 37 years), and stress-eat beef jerky, of the cheap, super salty, surely-going-to-kill-me-someday variety.
The list of our differences goes on and on. She likes to run in the cold; I don’t like to do ANYTHING in the cold. Her career past is in management; I taught dance classes, waited tables, and once dressed up like an Oreo Cookie for 50 bucks cash. She uses cloth diapers, and two years post-potty training, I still receive Pampers coupons in my email.
Every single day moms are faced with choices. Breastmilk or formula? Stroller or Ergo? Public school or homeschool? (Wine or vodka? 😉 ) And I think most moms are just making the best choices they can, and good for them! I say make that choice, Momma, the best one you can, and stick to it! But then … keep it to yourself. I am also making the best choices I can for my kids, my family, and my life, and while I applaud you and your research and your strength, I don’t need you to make my choices for me or to try to educate me on why my choices aren’t correct. In my nearly sixteen years as a mom, I have taken criticism for formula-feeding two of my kids and have endured “are you crazy” glances when I mentioned I breastfed Alli until she was almost two. I have gotten the stink-eye because I vaccinate all three kids on a regular CDC-prescribed basis, and oh, how I have been “educated” on those evil disposable diapers to which I subjected all three of my poor babies’ butts. All MY choices based on MY morals, MY research, and MY opinion and all made for MY children and no one else’s.
And Rebecca, so different from me in every conceivable way? She agrees, and this is what makes our friendship work so well. I admire her use of cloth diapers even though it just isn’t my thing. She digs all-organic-all-the-time but still enjoys my not-quite-white chicken chili. We both know that the other does things very differently, but we respect each other anyway. Because we are just two moms, two Navy wives, doing our best, laughing over messes and noisiness, and forging ahead in a world prone to judgement and scrutiny and blame. This friendship of ours is quite unique I think, different than any I’ve ever had, but it works, and I treasure it.
And for a million-billion mommies out there making beef jerky choices, I hope you, too, are lucky enough to find your beet chips friend.
Like this post? Please share it with your beet chips best friend (and … you know … everyone else, too)!