I was in Kansas City twice this month. Both for very quick, but nourishing, trips. I feel blessed to have several friends who still live there and welcome us with the most open arms. Kansas City is the most incredible city I’ve ever known. And maybe it’s because I’ve lived there and maybe it’s because it’s probably the city with which I am most familiar but I think that it really is just because Kansas City is phenomenal. Kansas City loves itself and holds itself as dearly as I do.
Two weeks ago, we combined a business-ish trip (for Ryan) with a birthday trip (for me) and we stayed in my best friend’s guest room. I love it when my friends welcome us into their homes—especially when they have kids. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it forever, getting to watch my best friends parent is one of the most exciting and sacred blessings in my life.
During this most recent trip, Ryan and I, along with Jamie and her incredible toddler, E, decided to go out and about in the city. We walked a lot and we went into stores. I was amazed at the way that Jamie could seamlessly intertwine being a caring and attentive mom with the casual, fun friend I’ve always known. It’s like a subtle magic. We walked through World Market in Westport and Jamie answered every time that E asked, “What’s this?” I’m not exaggerating. Every. Single. Time. And she asked it a lot. Because she’s a toddler and is learning everything in the whole world right now. Like, today. And sometimes that question is impossible to answer.
When we were in the gift bag section of the store, E fell in deep love with a completely overpriced, lovely, felt bag with the face of an owl on it. Jamie decided, okay, we’ll get it. And E carried it around with her everywhere that we went. She loved it a lot. But time was winding down. We were all getting a little tired and hungry.
When it was dinnertime, we decided that rather than try to wrangle a toddler in a restaurant, we would call in take out. So we called up Moti Mahal and placed our rather large order. We took our sweet time casually strolling over there and when we got there we learned that we had, in fact, called in our order to the wrong location. Womp womp.
This is the part where I digress and start talking to you about the impeccable service that was paid to us at Moti Mahal. So, like I said, we made a mistake. We called in our order to the wrong location. They could have easily said “sorry, you’re gonna have to just drive over there.” But they didn’t even think about it. They said, “we’ll call them and sort it out but we’ll get started on your to-go order right away.” They told us to sit down at a table and they’ll bring us some chai tea while we wait.
They let us monopolize a whole table on a Saturday night and they served us tea—for free. They served us in our mistake and I’d never felt so wanted by an establishment in my whole life. Believe me when I say that they received a tip and I will recommend and frequent Moti Mahal as often as I possibly can. Also the Chicken Korma was… so good. And I might be ruined on chai from now on, too. It was too good for me to ever buy a powdered mix, again. There were cardamom pods in the bottom of my cup when I was finished, you guys. This was some real shit.
Anyway, so we’re waiting at this table covered in beautiful glassware and teacups and saucers and we’ve got this toddler who just realized that her shoes were hurting her feet. She’s only mildly fussy but kicking and restless nonetheless. The manager even brought her out a balloon to cheer her up (See? These people are great). It was all getting kind of chaotic. So, once the food came, there was a baby and a balloon and two bags of food and okay, let’s get out of here.
It wasn’t until we got home that we realized that the beautiful, felt, owl bag had been left behind.
Back at the house, Jamie was in the kitchen, dishing up our food and said, “Man, I feel like such a Mom Fail.”
“I don’t know why you would think that, you did so many things right, today.” I didn’t even know that I felt that way when I said it. It was just one of those things that comes out of your mouth and then you realize how true it is. She had done so many things so beautifully and seamlessly and perfectly that day.
Watching her live her life is a lot like watching Ryan play music. He’s a drummer and when I am really mindful of his performance, I’m so astounded at the grace that he exudes. The way that there’s so much for him to pay attention to and he is pulled in different directions that all require his full attention and the end result is this beautiful, effortless-feeling masterpiece. And you know what? Sometimes he makes a misstep, too. And when it’s all over, sometimes that wrong move is all he can think about as well.
And we’re all like this, really. It’s not just moms. It’s not just musicians. It’s all of us. We are going in so many directions. We are doing so many things right. We are doing a damn good job. We could be celebrating more often than we’re downtrodden. If you think of all the things you did right today—I promise that they greatly outnumber the times you messed up. You mess up. That’s okay. That’s how we know you’re human. But also you are slaying this, too.
I think you’re great.