Friday, January 1, 2010

The Full Mommy

When I first moved from New York to Arkansas, I felt compelled to travel back home four times a year. There was a lot of me left behind, and it took that many trips to scrape together the pieces. Each visit was packed with an extensive itinerary of people and places I thought I needed. But as my life in Arkansas filled out, my requirements from New York were conversely whittled. By now, it's pretty much down to family, a few lifelong friends, and Helmbold's hot dogs. Not necessarily in that order.

Diane is one of those cherished friends who always makes sure to see me when I'm in town. We grew up together and now, in bits and pieces, we get to watch our children grow up together. She and I share history not only because we lived in the same town, but also because we lived through a similar experience. We both have wanted children forever, and it seemed to take us that long to finally get them. And like that first bite of chocolate after a Lenten fast, going without for an extended period does wonders for one's appreciation. I've never seen a mom more committed to making her children happy. Which works out really well for my kid when we hang out with them.

Past visits with Diane have included trips to the amusement park, swimming in the lake near her house and playing in the indoor Disneyland that is her home. (There is a trampoline and swing set in the play room. I am not making this up.) This trip did not disappoint. In fact, it was interesting right from the get go: "Did you pack swimsuits?" No, no swimsuits. Snow pants, but no swimsuits. But that little detail didn't stop her from taking us here:

Ciccotti Family Recreation Center, Albany, New York

My six-year-old was raring to go in his SpongeBob boxers, which passed adorably as a swimsuit.

My middle-aged, out-of-shape, unprepared self, however, needed a bit of priming. The first hurdle was getting comfortable with the idea of purposely getting wet when it's ten degrees outside. That just ain't right. Since I never imagined for a minute that my brain might talk my body into it, I didn't waste any time at all getting it prepared. And believe me, in the middle of winter, it needed some prep. I don't know about you, but I'm not on speaking terms with my bikini wax come December. Or my razor. Or my pedicure set. Or, apparently, my pride. Those are all affectations for summer. Winter was made for binging and burrowing in forgiving layers. And I had no intention of shedding a one.

But then . . . there's Diane. How could I disappoint her when she so consistently shows us a good time? So I shoved my ego in a locker and accepted the black camisole and spandex bike shorts she thoughtfully provided me. Diane, as I have suggested, has a very big heart. A heart almost as big as her enormous, magnificent knockers. (Did I mention I was wearing her camisole?) Which was hardly an issue at all. Except for that small period of time, somewhere between three seconds and eternity, when one of those randomly timed dumping buckets of water released its contents on my head, suddenly ripping the camisole several inches below my navel. Which was good, really, because having my teeny tiny B cups involuntarily exposed to a roomful of strangers instantly put a little embarrassing leg hair right into perspective.

That list of places I need to go when I visit New York just got whittled again.


bloorondo said...

I loved reading this and was glad to see the pic of Spongeboy. Disappointed, though, that I only got the mental picture of your "water feature."


Anonymous said...

O NOOOO Does that mean you dont want to party with us anymore? Im really sorry about the wardrobe malfuntion, I must say Ive never seen THAT before. LOL
PS Im so touched about the kind things you said my eyes are leaking!
-Diane M

Anonymous said...

PS you do not look middle aged -out of shape- OR unprepared!

Jomama said...

OMG, Thank you so much for a much-needed laugh!!

I've never heard of this place--but will have to check it out next time I am in that area.

I will of course pack a properly sized swimsuit--hee hee.