We have a sick mama among us. She’s sick in a way that she isn’t ready to face yet.
I was surprised that her secret was so open. But then I learned there’s another mama who is making sure everyone knows.
And not in a nice way. She is actively and purposefully making sure people know.
This kind of stuff takes me by surprise because no one in the important part of my life is like that. I make dang sure.
But every now and then someone on the outer edge, like this mama, makes a wave in my peaceful circle. And since I’m not looking for it, it smacks me sideways.
I called Dana to rant and rail: Is she new here? Doesn’t she know that we don’t act like that in this place? That we are space-holders and second-chance-givers and call-down-the-power-of-heaven-pray-ers?
Dana said Who is this again? One of the moms at your new school?
And I said Oh.
The new one here is me.
Making friends is hard. We just want people to know us already. We want to trust that people are who they seem to be the first time we meet them. But there are wheels within wheels in any community, from small town schools to big city corporations—unspoken rules by which everyone plays and the new folks have to figure out through trial and error.
It’s good for us to know about new places and new people, but it’s exhausting.
For months, this mean mama showed me what she wanted me to see before she showed me the truth. When I finally saw it, I turned to the other mamas, who told me that I was for sure the last to know.
I’m glad I know. I will be careful around her, but if she comes my way, I will be challenging and honest. I can ask hard questions with kindness to find the truth, because I believe we have to use our powers for good. We absolutely cannot be each other’s competition or entertainment. It’s not about shutting people out, but folding them into a network of love and support that all mamas can and should be to each other. I am not saying we walk blindly into the fire, thinking if we can just be nice enough, the fire won’t burn us; but there’s things we can do to lay the fire down so it provides warmth instead of scorching the earth.
I think that mean mamas are hiding something, creating a diversion over there, so no one will look too closely here. They are hurting and insecure. They may never have known true sisterhood friendship.
We have to show them what it means–and how our lives and hearts can grow–when we have truth-loving, prayer-saying, light-spreading, space-holding sister women in our corners.