by the grace and sovereignty of God, I have been inducted into some pretty special societies in my lifetime. I am a member of the following groups:
1. Hyper-blessed to have been raised by Christian parents and taught the Word of God from infancy. Sweet hallelujah. Sanctified, saved, redeemed.
2. An Ohio Buckeye by birth (Goldstar or Skyline? Yes, Please!), Virginian by default, Texan by marriage.
3. Beltway insider. We literally live 2 miles inside the Beltway.
4. SAHM. I'm a mom, cuz I gots kids. And I stay. At home. Sometimes. Whaty I really am is an I-DRIVE-MY-PEEPS-ALL-OVER-THE-PLACE-ALL-DAY-EVERY-DAY-AND-WOULDN'T-I-LOVE-TO-ACTUALLY-STAY-PUT-AT-HOME-FOR-FIVE-STRAIGHT-MINUTES-MOM...
5. I'm a home schooler. Of the 'vast right wing conspiracy/poor, uneducated and easily led' variety.
6. Large family. I mean, we've got 6 kids at home (see #7 for more on no. 7), so I guess that's considered large. And we're not Catholic or LDS. Just plain ole passionate protestants. With a passel of humans we've been given to raise.
7. I am a Mother Without. I have a child, children actually, whose habitation is not with me on this side of the veil, but rather in heaven. I visit a teeny gravestone on occasion that has my name on it. And my heart gets held hostage by the missing of him on a regular basis.
8. Which leads me to my next sorority, the Jets.
A few years back, I found myself drawn to these 5 other moms because we were all in the same two home school co-op thingies. We had kids who liked to play together. We taught classes together. We liked each other. We'd grab our 5 minutes of precious adult conversation on Tuesdays at one co-op thingy and on Thursdays at another. We asked after each other's families, how our weeks were going, encouraged one another to keep at it until we met again in just a few days, etc. We made each other laugh and gave the best hugs when it was a time to cry. Oh, yeah. We lost. Big. The Jets are a huge reason we got our Bob-o. And we've loved each other through it all.
Our kids (Junior Jets) are all different ages and grade levels but can all still play a mean game of Body Body when we find the rare time to get together at someone's house. We got our name when another mom walked by us standing and chatting once and said, laughing "I always see you guys together. You're like a gang." And we bantered back and forth with her about what our gang should be called and would the jackets be pink satin or black? And one of the group sang "when you're a Jet, you're a Jet all the way!" from West Side story and it stuck. Little did we know then how very true those lyrics would hold for us.
The Jets between us have 25 kids (2 of those in heaven). Amongst us moms, we got a little bit of everything - from super neat and germ-averse to five-second-rule followers and mostly clean but very cluttered; from gluten-free, dairy free, sugar free, fat free, all organic eaters to sugar cereal, fast food fans; from no TV to All TV All the Time; from all kids home schooling to a couple in school; from logistical mistresses to fly by the seat of your pants; trained in our former lives as accountant, teacher, cartographer, TV sportscaster, and political hacks...
But there are some traits we all share. Being crazy home schoolers, of course, and all Warrior Princesses of the King of Kings; all with the most fabulous, perfectly picked just for each of us, handsome husbands. And without fail, we would each one of us drop whatever we are doing at any given moment to run to the aid of another Jet in need. Because when you're a Jet, you're a Jet ALL THE WAY! Rides for kids? No prob. Forgot lunch for the kid you dropped at co-op because you ran back home to another sick one? I've got food to share. Your kid will get fed. Bad day? Come over for a bowl of raw cookie dough and some junk TV. Desperate for a night out? See you at the Thai place at 7. Feel like quitting? Tell me all about it. But p.s. you can't quit. I need you. Lice? I'm on my way with my lice removal kit (and will return every Tuesday afternoon at the same time and place to follow up). Missing the math test your kid is supposed to be taking right that very moment? I've got it - scanning and e-mailing right now.
Facing a devastating loss? Amongst us we have mourned the loss of Fathers. Mothers. Brothers. Sisters. Babies. We are here for you. Really, truly here. All. The. Way.
There was a Jet at my bed-side at nearly every moment before, during and after Bob-o's birth. After my mom, they were the first people I called (the first Jet I called was the one who buried her baby too). They prayed me through that day and every one since. They took my kids. Heck, one of them even helped Dennis go back home and TELL the kids. They cried and cried and cried with me. They marveled at his beauty with me. They took pictures and made slide shows and spoke at his funeral. They were all his godmothers. They feel the awfulness of it and the precious glory of it all at the same time. They brought me ice packs for my when my milk came in and laxatives when all the post-partum stuff and pain meds did their worst. Not everyone can stir your Miralax for ya. I mean, that's being a Jet...ALL THE WAY.
They grabbed me by the shoulders when I sobbed that it was all my fault and I was letting my living children down too and I should just give it all up and made me look them in the eye so they could tell me those were the lies of the devil and remind me what the Truth really is. They held onto faith when mine was standing on the ledge threatening to jump. The Jets meet me at Bob-o's grave every October 7 where we stand and hug and cry and pray before going out for breakfast and some adult conversation. They remember and they care and they show up.
I love my Jets and I hope I am the kind of friend to them that they are to me. All the way.