i’ll be right there

Ok, first of all. We’ve been dating now for nearly six months and when I say ‘we,’ I mean CJ and his lovely girlfriend Abby. I think I’m officially too old to date. It’s probably more like meet-ups at the bingo hall. Or something.

But back to what matters, I’m going to first shamelessly share a few photos from HoCo because 1) we had our first one! and 2) my son was the literal most handsome young man to attend.

There were so many sweet moments that day, many of which I was initially clueless I needed to be mindful of. I mean, Pam (Abby’s mom) had to remind me that there are these floral things we get for each other and so I ordered a corsage from my favorite florist in Kalamazoo and then, because CJ decided he was too.good. for Trader Joe’s, didn’t come with me to pick it up. I don’t understand how you don’t get jacked about a grocery store but whatever. Anyway, I picked up the corsage, cried when I walked out with it and couldn’t wait for the two to exchange their short-lived treasures. Let’s just be real. We also got to meet up for some photos prior and Abby had no idea how to do the boutonniere (and found out his mom didn’t really, either), had some fun wandering our property and the neighbors’ and found that my mom had three special spots chosen for photos. Adorable.

The two had an amazing time and when Pam said that she accidentally had told a friend she could ride home with Abby (who is licensed. bless.), I was absolutely thrilled because that meant the two had zero alone time. We all won.

But last Saturday, Abby was bringing CJ home after a day date. Connor had mentioned he would be home by 9:30 because helpful state law indicates a 16-year-old can’t be driving past ten. I swear. There are some really smart people out there. I remember looking at my phone because grandma here is typically asleep by 9:30 because first wake-up comes very (very) early. It was 9:36. Not one minute later, it rang. I saw it was CJ but he hung up. I called right back and he shared that Abby’s Jeep had died at the end of our road. I said, ‘ok, i’ll be right there.’

Not 45 seconds later (that’s what it felt like as both times CJ needed me, my vehicle’s speed was suddenly something that I paid zero attention to), I was face-to-face with them prepared to jump the Jeep. With battery cables, people. And yes, I know how to use them. And yes, I think that makes me pretty bada$$. We got it started once and it wasn’t long after that it died again. So, we let the mighty ‘yota run for a bit to juice her up. The two stood outside before they agreed to jump in my ride and get warm. They were reluctant, I’m guessing, because that meant they couldn’t stand next to each other with CJ’s arm through hers and in her sweatshirt pocket. Yes, moms see the things. Thankfully, we got it started and I told Abby to get it to my house so we were at least off the road and parked and we could figure out what to do next. She said her mom was on the way because I think everyone knew me driving past ten may also not be a great idea (see grandma comment above).

We got the Jeep back and as soon as she put it in park, it died again. I was just grateful the two sweethearts were home safe and that her Jeep had a safe place to rest as well. Pam came not long after and she said, ‘moms to the rescue!’

I texted her early Sunday to make sure that Abby knew it was absolutely my pleasure to be able to help. Abby was feeling like she’d imposed but what she doesn’t realize is that … I am a two.

A huh? Well, we might have talked about this before but I’m a type two on the well-known Enneagram personality test. Here’s a brief overview of a two:

Twos are defined by their desire to belong and to be loved by others. They are helpful, nurturing and caring towards others. They are eager to involve themselves in others’ lives. Twos rarely say no when others ask them for help, and want to prove value to others by always being there for them.

Deepest Fear: Twos fear being alone and unloved, and cope with this fear by taking care of others and making themselves central to other people’s lives.

Core Motivation: Enneagram Twos want to feel loved and appreciated, which motivates them to express love toward others in their words and actions.

– from the enneagram institute

I also want to point out that Jennifer Garner, Mother Teresa and Maya Angelou are two’s as well so … I’m in good (and beautiful) company.

That Saturday night was the second memorable time I’d said, ‘i’ll be right there.’ this year and both times, I knew CJ needed me. And it meant everything. Not only does mama need to be needed. But it’s in those moments that all of the loud noises taking over much of my thought life disappear. I ain’t got time (or capacity) for it.

So often this past few years and especially in this season of the coco, I’ve struggled with being needed. I have some rejection issues so I’m reluctant to put myself out there but I have realized so much this year that CJ is growing up and he ‘needs’ me less and less. I mean, logic tells me that of course he still needs me; I’m his mom. But it’s seldom now that he needs me to do things like wake him up in the morning (which, let’s be real is an actual win), make him breakfast (because he suddenly isn’t hungry), ask me if he matches (most days) and these days, he can even wipe his own butt. (Ok, I just had to throw in a Big Daddy reference). But it’s a real thing! Being a single mom, especially, reminds me of that lack on the days he isn’t here. Being transparent, Sunday’s without him are my hardest day. Like, anyone need me today? Besides these animals?

I’ve spent a lot of time as of late thinking about this. It matters so much to me that people feel loved by me even if I can’t be there in person. I work so hard to ensure that each encounter I have is touched by grace, kindness and love because it’s truly who I am. Unfortunately, the people who get the bulk of it are those I work with and while they all deserve it as well, they aren’t truly my people, you know?

I’m not sure why I’m sharing any of this other than it’s Sunday and my mind is typically running a few miles an hour faster on the hard days. I want to be a helper (that’s what two’s are typically called. i saw they’ve also coined us as ‘giver’ and I love that, too). I keep exploring ways that I can help while also honoring the fact that I’m legit terrified of gatherings and things. I’m not here to debate anything about the coco but it’s thrown me for a mighty loop (along with other things). I just feel safer in a bubble. Sorry about that. But, I do feel ready to start poking some holes; to start finding ways I might be able to show up for others in a safe and healthy way but also just to be able to honor the whole of me.

So, I’ll leave you with this. I’m a helper, a giver. I’m exploring how I can live into that more fully while honoring my overall healing process. But, I’m here. And I have found I’m pretty good at praying if you need some of that. And, if you do need me in a tangible way, it’s likely I’ll reply, ‘i’ll be right there.’ Now, for my almost driver (we have three months, people. THREE.), I’ll always be right there no matter where you go. And, as we’ve discussed, my tiny house with wheels will be on order the day you decide where your college days will take you. I think we can both agree it’s not helpful for me to be more than a few minutes away. I love you, you’re welcome.

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