The Sorority of Moms: Kappa Alpha Towla

I was not in a sorority in college.  Never missed it, either, as I was, how can I say this kindly?  Um, sheltered?  Uptight?  Yeah, uptight is probably more accurate.  I also had the self-confidence of a Judy Blume tween character with acne and a back brace for scoliosis.  Oh wait.  I didn’t have acne, though.  Clear skin is one of my blessings.  Thanks, Mom!  And while I did have scoliosis, it never required a back brace.  Thanks be to the junior high gods for that one.

But I digress.

Last week me and the family overslept on a school day.  The boy woke us all up at 7:10.  We need to skedaddle by 8:08 to get him to school on time.  I had to shower, HAD TO, as it had been, ahem, a while since I stood under the cleansing stream of hot water and I had people to see and places to go on that day.  And you would think that fifty-eight minutes would be more than sufficient time to shower and dress, but then you wouldn’t know me very well, would you?

Maybe that is why showering is one of my least favorite things to do in the universe.  For me, it is a production.  I shampoo, condition, exfoliate, shave, soap, buff, and rinse.  That is a lot to accomplish, not to mention the post-shower necessities of moisturizing, powdering, drying, and hair.  Ugh.  Do not even get me started on the hair.

That said, the clock was bearing down on 8:06 and while dressed, my hair was still having the moisture sucked out of it.  I need at least six minutes with a hair dryer, minimum, and that meant we would be really late or I could opt for the towel.  I chose towel.  Honestly, it is this super cool absorbant towel I bought in 1994 for my post-college backpack hostel adventure through Europe.  Lordy, I complained when my friend insisted we both get them.  That gal waxed poetic about the amazing moisture sucking/packing attributes of that $20 towel.  Pfffft.  I was 24 years old and $20 for a towel seemed somehow more excessive that a month long backpacking tour through Europe’s coolest cities.

Well, 19 years later, that towel is probably the best $20 I ever spent. Anyways.

If someone had told my 24 year old self that my 43 year old self would one day drive her little boy to pre-school wearing said towel, in public, well, I would have slapped the bitch who suggested such non-sense.  My 24 year old self had standards, you know?

Kappa Alpha Towla

But there I was, my 43 year old self, driving my boy to school, in public, with a towel on my head.  Nice.  Forgive me, Stacey and Clinton.  I know and embrace my sins.  I was raised Catholic, so consider this my confession.  Actually, my confession came swiftly.  As with many modern day confessions, I snapped a photo and slapped that sucker on Facebook.

Well, lo and behold, moms across America quickly educated me that the school drop-off in pajamas/robe/towel/slippers is no less common than storing a home’s worth of crap in closets when visitors come by.  Who knew?  Not me, I tell ‘ya, not me.  Suddenly, it dawned on me that I was finally part of a sorority that would have me.  It was twenty-two years too late, but no less of a rush, pun intended.

Ladies, I propose we charter a sorority for moms and call our new sisterhood Kappa Alpha Towla.  (That would be ΚΑΤ using the fancy greek symbols on Word for those reading Greek, which is pretty redundant, dontcha think?)  Are you in?  ARE YOU IN?  KAT has a nice ring to it, right?  Brings our my inner cougar.

Given my goody-two-shoes/hermit status from junior high through college, I really have no idea how sororities work.  If I believe what I see in movies, it might mean that we run around in filmy negligees and have pillow fights and do each other’s hair.  The mom edition of that might translate into yoga pants from Target or Costco and re-runs of Real Housewives of It Doesn’t Even Matter while downing boxes of pinot grigio.

Oh, man, that honestly sounds like a really good time.  Rush will commence immediately, as I rush to the sofa with my wine and remote.  See you there, sisters.

Hey!  If you like this, throw a sister a bone and hit that little “like” button up above, okay?

Jack Layton is my new hero.

I had never heard of Jack Layton before this morning.  Turns out, he was kind of a big deal.  And certainly the real deal.  Jack Layton was a Canadian pol and leader of the Official Opposition and the New Democratic Party.  But this is not a civics lesson, folks. 

This morning, after his death had been confirmed, his surviving family released a letter he had written to the Canadian public just two days ago.  It’s beautiful and well, he says it best.  Aside from the fact that he is clearly a civil human being, one I wish our own politicians would emulate, the letter spoke to me as a mom. 

His love letter to Canada ends with this:

“My friends, love is better than anger.  Hope is better than fear.  Optimism is better than despair.  So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic.  And we’ll change the world.”

If that is not a call to arms of motherhood, one I wish I had written myself, I don’t know what is.  Swap out “my friends” for “moms” and be inspired. 

When we were going through cancer treatment with our daughter, I started clinging to the phrase, “Choose hope.”  It was a conscious choice, every day, to hope and imagine that our dear girl could outlast the beast that was having its way with her.  Later, when we knew Donna surviving her cancer was no longer a hope we could hope for, we hoped for other things:  to not be bitter, to not burden Mary Tyler Son with our grief, to parent more children.  Hope had become a way of life. 

And I know it sounds pie in the sky, head in the sand, but it’s not.  To have hope, I learned, is the only way I can wake up every day.  Hope is better than fear.  Trust me on this one.  Love is better than anger.  Our kids know this.  And we know this too, even when we’re seeing red after they do something so completely stupid or frustrating or asinine that we’re ready to ship them to boarding school (And yes, there is a boarding school for toddlers, two in fact:  PBS Sprout and Nick Jr.).  And finally, optimism is better than despair.  Duh. 

Mr. Layton’s Ode to Canada was just the pep talk I needed.  Mary Tyler Son is embracing being two.  He can be tiresome and tiring.  My dear girl is still dead.  Every day.  Some days, it is harder to choose hope than others.  Today, reading Mr. Layton’s words, it was easy.  So I will say to you what Mr. Layton, may he rest in peace, said to all of Canada this morning:

Moms, love is better than anger.  Hope is better than fear.  Optimism is better than despair.  So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic.  And we’ll change the world. 

And we can.  Seriously.  We can.