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51. Falling together

March 9, 2012

Got a gift today. At school drop off, another mom was having one of those mom* moments. You know the ones, where suddenly everything adds up to too much. I asked her how she was, and she began to cry. So I hustled her into the empty cafeteria. We sat on the stage and she cried some, talked some, and then cried just a little bit more. Then we both left for work. About 10 minutes taken out of my day, all told.

What struck me was how she kept apologizing for falling apart. I get that. When I have my mom moments (or mom-dog moments?),  if they are public I get embarrassed. I feel like I’m impinging on others. Like I’m taking up too much space. And I feel ashamed that I’m not perfectly holding it together like everyone else seems to be.

But being on the other side of it today – what I want to tell her—and to tell the future-me, that is the one who will be falling apart again some time soon – is how much her falling apart helps me. When someone else falls apart, it gives me permission to not  be perfect. Next time, maybe I’ll be much more forgiving of myself. More, when someone is emotionally honest with me, it makes it much easier for me to drop down into that place where my own emotional honesty lives. And that’s a place I want to be. That’s a place I want to live. Finally, I take her willingness to be vulnerable with me as an indication that she trusts me. That means that I am trustable. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. It makes me feel loved. So thank you falling-apart-at-school Mom. Thanks for helping me become present to my day.

*Yes. Dad’s have them too. But Dad moments just doesn’t have the same M-M alliteration.

**Ok and yes. Actually we all have our falling apart moments. And bless us for ’em.

***Except maybe David Bowie. I think maybe David Bowie always holds it together.David Bowie, falling apart, perfectionism, mom moments

8 Comments leave one →
  1. March 9, 2012 6:46 pm

    I relate to what you wrote 100%. And I find when I give back, I feel better about the next time someone has to hold me up. It’s all part of the give and take that makes life work.

  2. anniepotts permalink
    March 9, 2012 11:16 pm

    What perfect timing for these words! I have just written about my friend Heather, who shares so much of herself and yes! it makes you feel so warm inside when people open up to you.

    Thank you so much for this timely post. 😀

    • March 9, 2012 11:38 pm

      Yep. Friendship is such a gift. Thanks for your post about Heather – more warm and cuddly!

  3. March 10, 2012 4:46 pm

    I’m not a mom, just a dog-mom. But I can agree that falling apart makes us generally apologetic, it is good to know other people can too. Great post.

    • March 10, 2012 7:48 pm

      Thanks. I’m a dog-mom too – and its all quite similar….

  4. March 10, 2012 9:15 pm

    Good on you for taking that ten minutes. You probably helped that mom more than you could know.

    • March 11, 2012 4:16 am

      I dunno. I think I probably helped her. But it helped me loads. Didn’t feel like a hardship, or like I was going out of my way. I like that.

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