The Club

At first, I thought it was just a figment of my imagination…

The smiles, little waves, even a ‘sup head nod.

But now, I know I’m not imagining it. It really happens, every time I’m out and about. Walking down the street, swimming in the pool, strolling the mall, shopping in Target.

Who, you ask, is giving me the smiles, waves, and gangster nods?

Other mamas.

I guess in October of 2011 I officially became part of “the club.”

And I guess the little gestures are like our secret handshakes. Because truly, if you are a mama, you are part of our club, and you know what it’s like…

What it’s like to crave even three hours of consecutive sleep. To struggle to provide the main source of nourishment for your newborn. To wonder how such a tiny little being can cry constantly, over-and-over-again, with no end in sight.

What it’s like to lose all concept of days versus nights, to worry about your child from the top of her head to the tips of her toes, to check and make sure your little one is breathing-is she breathing?-are you SURE she’s breathing?

What it’s like to want to give your child the most incredible life, and wonder how to do just that. To feel so proud when she rolls over, sits up, poops regularly, crawls, claps, waves goodbye, stands up, uses baby sign language, cruises across furniture, starts saying words, giggles…

What it’s like to be THAT mom, in Target, shoving baby crack puffs into your child’s mouth so she’ll PLEASE stop screaming (because you HAVE to go down every aisle at Target or else the trip is not complete).

What it’s like to love somebody so much it literally hurts. To feel the most intense, insane joy, a joy that makes your heart feel like it’s going to explode, a joy everyone told you about but you never truly understood until she took her first breath.

So yeah, I’m part of this little secret society. And now I’m the one giving the gangster nods and encouraging smiles to the red-eyed, deer-in-headlights-looking-new-mamas who wander aimlessly around Target holding teeny, tiny newborns.

I’m always tempted to put a 12-pack of Blue Moon and container of puffs into their carts, and tell them they’ll thank me later.

But for now, I just wave and think, welcome to the club.

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