Me: "Can I come by for like, 5 minutes?"
Janet: "Only if you don't care that I'm in my nightgown and haven't had a shower."
Me: "That's ok. I'm coming by to take my pants off anyway."
Janet: (Knowing she'll get the whole story when I get there) "Ok."
This emergency phone call was placed by me yesterday after an unfortunate incident in the Winn Dixie parking lot just down the street from Janet's house. I had dropped off the kids at school, then stopped by work with a hungry baby to feed him in Dwayne's office before I ran some more errands. I got caught at work in a thunderstorm, but waited it out, determined to get some things done. So, I FINALLY headed off to the Winn Dixie with freshly fed, sleeping baby in the car.
I parked strategically in the side of the parking lot by the exit doors and proceeded to get the baby out. Upon stepping up to the rear passenger door, I noticed a large pothole under the car. (If you live in New Orleans, you know that potholes are a way of life here.) "Better not step in that" I thought to myself. So I leaned precariously over it and picked up the car seat with still sleeping baby inside. I stepped back, however the curb that was behind me evidently had issues with being stepped on. It tripped me. In what seemed to be slow motion I fought against the inevitable backward fall, but was unsuccessful. I fell backward right on my behind. (Thankfully on my freshly unpregnant but still carrying extra cushion behind) Car seat with still sleeping baby fell too, right on top of me, I'm grateful to say.
Now on a dry day in New orleans, sitting on the ground will give you a wet rear end. If you recall the above mentioned thunderstorm, however, then you can imagine how wet and muddy my behind was as a result of my plop onto the grassy curb. A kindly older gentleman witnessed my mishap and came running over to help me up. He assisted me back to my feet and I smiled bravely to assure him he could go his merry way. Then I put car seat with the still sleeping baby back into the car and, hands shaking, got back into the drivers seat. My first plan was to go home. But then my inner rebel kicked in and completely refused to be defeated. I was NOT going to go all the way home, change, and start over. Neither could I enter WinnDixie in my current state.
This brings me to the phone call referenced above. A plan had begun to form in my mind. Janet lives right down the street. Now Janet is one of those friends who has seen many of my worst moments. She's just plain real and just plain there for me. She is one of few that has withheld judgement from me and simply been a friend. You can't surprise her and you can't shock her. So I knew it would be nothing to call her and ask to come over and strip off my pants. Actually, I've been blessed with an unusually high number of this kind of friend in my life. Perhaps God knew how much help and understanding I would need. For whatever reason, He has chosen to give me the gift of amazing friends, and has provided them wherever I've gone. Some from childhood (that's you, C!) and some from college, some from churches here and there, and some my mother bore herself!!
So I proceeded to Janet's where she came up with an ingenious plan of her own. I stood in the bathroom doorway while she blow-dried my butt. I didn't even have to take off the pants. She sent me out the door in decent enough shape so still sleeping baby and I could accomplish our desperately needed grocery run.
I didn't know until the next day when two huge bruises appeared and some stiffness was felt, that I had had a fairly serious fall. It's kinda like life. Here's something I have learned: I can't and neither do I want to, spend this life doing it all on my own. Sometimes I don't know how bad it is until the shock wears off. Sometimes I need help, sometimes I need advice, sometimes I need a shoulder to cry on, and sometimes I need someone to blow dry my butt. Today, especially as I'm entering a new phase in life and trying to make hard decisions I'm exceedingly grateful for those angels God has given me, and grateful for the opportunities I've had to be an angel for someone else. So many thanks to those of you who have been and are there for me. Thanks for letting me call and cry. Thanks for being mad when somebody hurts me. Thanks for loving my kids. Thanks for cheering when I have a success. Thanks for not cheering when you were right and I wasn't. You are one of my most precious gifts. If you're ever in New Orleans and need someone to blow dry your butt... just call.