As if we haven’t all been feeling a little lost this year, my coastal community just lost its bridge to the mainland. And, no – I’m not being dramatic. Just when we thought 2020 couldn’t get any worse, a hurricane came and knocked out our brand new bridge. (Actually, it was a handful of unsecured barges, but that’s a story for another day … or a follow-up to Alanis Morissette’s “Ironic”.)
I understand countless catastrophic things have happened this year – and even in “normal” years – but during a time when moms everywhere are already feeling isolated, a bridge is more than just a way to get from one place to another.
A bridge might be a lifeline, from you to your best friend. It might be the way your Mom and Dad travel to see your kids on a whim, a drive that used to take 15 minutes and now means two hours round-trip if traffic is good. It could be date night or a solitary stroll through Target or the annual mammogram you don’t really need another reason to put off.
It could be your sanity. It could be your job. It could add up to hours and weeks and months (and they’re even saying a year) of having to go out of your way to live your regular life.
I feel like this year is like – I’m gonna show you what you’re made of.
Motherhood, you guys. It’s as strong as it is fragile. As simple as it is complex. There’s nothing easy about it on a good day, and when so much of what is routine and unremarkable is taken away by illness and unrest and natural disaster, it can feel almost suffocating.
My days right now are going one of two ways:
1. Be super productive, cook all the meals, organize all the closets, do all the yoga, break up all the fights, fold all the laundry (but don’t put it away), get some fresh air, make people laugh, kiss my husband, help with the homework, keep everybody relatively happy …
2. Stare at the wall.
There’s no in-between. Today is a stare-at-the-wall day. But we have to keep going. We have to show our kids that not every day is good, but there is at least a little good in every day. And some days? There’s a lot.
We have a chance to be a bridge. Check in on your friends and relatives. Send homemade cards and care packages, just because. Make somebody a meal, even if they didn’t just have a baby. Introduce a new neighbor to some people who feel like sunshine. Give a compliment to a stranger. Look for ways to help, because helping others will help you, too.
I remember when I first started dating my husband, he lived on the beach and I lived in town. A big storm was coming, and he told me if the bridge was blocked, he would swim to me.
Well, the time has come.
No mom is an island. So SWIM. Be a bridge, be a boat … be the hand that reaches out to the one who can’t go it alone anymore.
Let your people know you love them, any way you can.