Hang On, Mom Zombies

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Mom conference!

What are we doing?

More specifically, what am I doing? Who am I? I don’t even know what my purpose is anymore. What month is it? January? STILL???

The New York Post in December (like just one month ago) asked if it was possible to be on the verge of a Zombie Apocalypse. Clearly, no mother of children of the earth writes or edits, or breathes air for the New York Post. Otherwise, the invisible Internet presses would have screeched to a complete halt before they uttered that nonsense.

Why?

Dear New York Post, let me type you a letter: WE HAVE BEEN IN A ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE for over two years. Signed, Mothers Everywhere

Nearly everyone I know is exhausted and hanging on by a minuscule fiber of resiliency that could snap at any moment. Every morning, I wrap a string of prayer beads around my dehydrated fingers and pray for an end or a beginning or at least…summer. Thank the Lord of Shephatiah we live near the beach and aren’t landlocked in Nebraska or Kansas. I love Dorothy and Toto as much as anyone, but she was high from that poppy field talking about “there’s no place like Kansas.”

I communicated this state of delirious confusion to the guidance counselor at one of my children’s schools. She emphatically stated that we are not alone. The other mothers I speak with echo those sentiments of pauses in progress, lagging grades, and disappointment from a relatively empty social and event calendar, including grief over missed milestones and celebrations.

We had a moment of tasting freedom. The promise of vaccinations and boosters empowered us to hope again. But here we are, on pause once more, as we endure another wave of absences and masked school attendance.

But you know what? We can do it. Why?

We’re the children of the ’70s and ’80’s– we learned about life from Drew and Molly and Spicoli. Chef Boy R Dee courses through our veins and a shield of Aqua Net permanently hardened our resolve long, long ago. We survived fake Cabbage Patch dolls made of old lady pantyhose. We were the ones that killed the radio star. That was us. We did that. We were the ones that sent countless clotheslined Red Rover and swing set victims to the hospital.

Not our parents…us.

We had to wait days, maybe weeks before the Blockbuster new releases were no longer rented to someone else. We had to wait for the exact moment the radio station started the Top Twenty countdown to press both “play” and “record” capturing the song without the DJ talking. We had to wait for the latest copy of Teen Beat at Waldenbooks to drool over Rob Lowe, Matt Dillion, or Emilio Estevez. Moms, we are members of The Rhythm Nation.

Remember that popular essay a few years back that reminded us of the feral, cigarette-smoke-filled reality of a seventies childhood. We survived. Sure, we need Botox and fillers now, but that’s no one else’s business.

We’re here.

Still standing.

Still moving forward.

Once, we were even coordinated enough to do the Kid N’ Play AND THEN the Running Man.

So, my friends, slather on some Voltaren, and know that soon, very, very soon, we will be able to lose those masks and like our Mom leader Maggie Seaver before us, show everyone our smile again.

mom in her car wearing a mask and a t-shirt that says whatever

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Dana is a mother to Rowan (high school), Arden (middle school), and Pierson (preschool). Although she is an Arkansas native, she has been a seasonal resident of the Gulf Coast, since age nine, when her mother moved to Destin; she’s been a Pensacola resident for the last 11 years. Dana attributes her Mayberry-esque childhood in Warren, Arkansas, as enormously influential in honing her definitely Southern style of storytelling. A degree in Journalism from the University of Arkansas (Woo Pig Sooie!) developed it further. In addition to writing, she loves photography, doodling, and painting. She is always up for a new adventure, especially in the great outdoors. She can’t live without Jesus, Diet Coke, funny memes, flair pens, or mascara, and loves personality tests (she’s a 1w9 and an I/ENFJ, ambivert). Her life is dictated by what she whispers to herself every morning, “You’ve only got this one precious life.”

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