My grandmother, “Meemaw,” is one of the most out-going and loud out-spoken women I know. She can work a room like nobody’s business, loves public speaking/performance, and is not afraid to speak her mind. I, on the other hand, am 100% introverted. I am completely comfortable being alone in a crowd, tend to keep my personal views to myself, and seldom “put myself out there” in an attempt to make new contacts. In short, I am nothing like my Meemaw.
Or, am I?
I was thinking about my Meemaw a lot yesterday as I was getting ready to go to a mixer for new moms. Specifically, I was thinking about a conversation we had at least 20 years ago. Meemaw was telling me about her high school reunion where she had performed a monologue from, I believe, Cabaret. She said that none of her classmates could believe she would do something like that since she had always been so shy. I thought this was hilarious because I had never heard anyone describe Meemaw as shy before. I asked what had changed her, and she said, “becoming a mom.” According to Meemaw, she needed to learn to put herself out there and speak up for her kids because they could not do it for themselves and no one was going to do it for her.
I am starting to understand what she was saying. Being a mom sometimes means stepping outside your comfort zone to be an advocate for your child. When Oliver was in the NICU, this meant going toe-to-toe with the doctors to get him off his unworkable feeding schedule and stop the unnecessary monitoring. Last night, it meant going to a bar to meet a group of other new moms in an attempt to make some connections and find a “playgroup” for my little guy. It meant channeling my inner-Meemaw and making myself extremely uncomfortable for two hours in order to kick-start the process of building the “village” that it apparently takes to raise a child.
And, you know what, it wasn’t that bad, and neither was I. Oliver and I even scored a date with three other moms and their baby boys out of the whole ordeal.
Maybe I have a little Meemaw in me after all.