Some nights are like this. They are kismet, and they are delicious. I was up past 9:30 which is late night for me. I was working on postcards and I received a text: Are your kids in bed? One of my girls had just had a big talk with her man and she was feeling a little squirley. He lay sleeping next to her and she needed to talk. I'm coming over, the next text read. Five minutes later in she walks. She left that man snoozing in the bed, and came over for some sister time. Sweats on, bed head raging, wicked little grin. I pour the wine. We sit on the porch and talk start talking it out. As we smoke and drink our wine. I listen to her talk about what is going on and then magically, we see our other mama across the street saying good bye to her man. Get your ass over here! We laugh at the silliness of it: all three of us, up on a school night, drinking wine, smoking, having stories to tell, but no one but ourselves to listen. Needing each other, loving each other, feeding each other's souls.
When you're married you have a constant sounding board, but us single mamas we need each other, on 24 hour call, to listen to each other bounce off ideas, talk each other down, ground the crazies. The night began with the hashing out of what is going on with each of us: navigating our relationships, dealing with the process of divorce. Tonight the topic was all about men, current men, ex-men, men in our future. We started off in pensive mood, but as it always eventually does when things are heavy, we got down right hysterical. "Hopeless hysterics, that's what this is," Sassy Single Mama giggles. We snort with laughter.
From shameless self-examinations we move into opera singing, we dive into rap (yes, there was b-boxing), there was some preaching, and gospel all about woman power and navigating the single mama/single woman road. At one point there I was with another single mama on the floor attempting a queef contest. Tears streaming down my face as I laughed and laughed at my 37 year old ass lay on the ground. We mutilated the songs of Grease, and The Sound of Music. We discussed the dangers of Nair down there. We laughed and laughed and laughed. The spell was broken when some man called out, "Hey [Savior Single Mama] is this your dog?" and interrupted our new rap/opera song called "Golden Pussssaaayyyyyy". That poor man must have been terrified to return the pooch who had wandered down the block. With giggles still ringing out, the ladies and I hugged, kissed, and said goodnight with promises to meet in the morning for coffee.
As I write all this I giggle at the silliness of it, and feel profound gratitude that I have found this kind of love with two women. Yet, this week my girls and I have realized something. In finding this joy in each other. In creating a family of three mamas and five kids, we are leaving little room for men in our lives. Our dating lives reflect our constant struggle to redefine our lives. Do we want to re-create the traditional family with husband, wife, children? Or do we want to forge ahead making our own way? We are not the same young women we were when we got married, ready to blend our lives with another person, ready to compromise in order to create a family. We are strong, independent, single women who are not so ready to give up the lives we have created on our own.
I do not think that being committed to someone means giving up everything, but it does mean compromise. It means taking time for another person and that means giving up some of my time that I put into other things. Things like my kids, and things like my girlfriends. It means taking another person into consideration when I make decisions about what I'm going to do. I've made up my mind for now. I am satisfied with the way my life is. It is full, full, full to the brim of love, support, laughter, and fun. It is deliciously mine to do with as I please.
Not one of us three single mamas is single. We all three are involved with men, but it seems that we have chosen men that allow us to have plenty of time for Hopeless Hysterics. Men that don't ask us to give up too much of our time. Men that are on the fringes, as we three mamas revolve with our children in the center. At some point one of us may move out and create our own little orbit with another, and at that point I know that the other two will rejoice in her choice, but for now we forge ahead creating our own lives. Weaving them together into a crazy tapestry that is delicious and fulfilling. We continue to redefine friendship, family, and commitment. It's not always pretty, it's not always sane, but it is ours and for this Queenpin Mama that is a lot.