One of the fun things about being self-employed and having no overhead is that I have many other people in my life who provide various services with whom I can trade. One of those people is the gal who does my hair (and the kids). We've been friends for years and she has a son my age so there's a fun inter-generational, sisterhood vibe between us. She's very spiritual and political and we have a great time talking about everything. We had a moment yesterday that cemented another connection between us in my mind that I hadn't quite pieced together in the past.
She had just finished coloring my hair and I was in the chair. Penny was on my lap having just fallen and cried. Penny was right up against the hair-washing sink with the big cool hose. Of course, she turned it on, full blast. It was a wildly rainy Northwest spring day and I arrived at Lesli's house damp an hour previously. This did not help. Mind you, we were inside Lesli's actual home and my child turned a hose on! You know what we did? We laughed. We turned off the hose. But we laughed. And I went home a little more damp than when I arrived.
The impulse to laugh when a "stressful", unexpected moment happens could be tied to many things: having a good sense of humor, being too stifled to feel comfortable showing anger; but in this case, I think it highlighted the resilience that she and I both possess. I don't say this to brag, in fact, my resilience has been a source of resentment for me in the past. When you are resilient, life has a way of creating dependence on you in a way that can be unfair.
But laughing in that chair with a friend who has had her resilience tested many times in her life, thinking about how many times I've laughed rather than cried when my back has been to the wall (crying is ok too and definitely an appropriate response), I recognized our kindred spirit-ness a la Anne of Green Gables and it felt like a moment. Like, the sun came out and shone upon us and reminded me that life is about finding the laughter in the panic, that friends are more important than perfection and that having kids provides a regular opportunity to look in the mirror and see what you're made of.