Coffee cake and banana slugs (and it’s all about being real)

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Today for Mom-Monday, I wanted to share one of the mom-moment stories I got in response to my requests for submissions for the book I’m writing. (After reading some of the submissions, I thought it would be fun to post a few of them here too; there’s so much wisdom wrapped up in many of them!)

This story is especially meaningful to me because it’s from one of my childhood friends, Nicole. She and I spent a lot of time together as kids (our parents have been lifelong friends). Here’s a couple of pictures of us from when we were little:

Us with our brother/sisters (Nicole and I are in the back), and Nicole/me in our dresses.

When Nicole and her family moved to Pennsylvania (I think we were around 10), I remember being sad, but my older sister and I got to fly out one summer to stay with them for a while. We had the best time. I still remember being fascinated by the fireflies (we don’t get those in California), and the storms. It was such a fun trip, minus the fact that I got stung by the biggest hornet I’ve ever seen.

Over the years, Nicole and I sort of lost touch, but thanks to Facebook, we recently reconnected. It’s been great hearing about her family and her kids, and I was excited to get a mom-story from her. (She sent in two, so I’ll share the other one in the future.)

Here’s Nicole’s “Laugh a Little” mom-moment:

Just after my youngest son was born, I was feeling lead to start a prayer/play group at our church. I invited another woman over to pray about it and talk about what we could do to get it started. I was new to the area and had never actually met her, so I wanted to have my house organized when she came.

I baked a coffee cake, put the baby down for a nap and put my almost-four-year-old in charge of my two-year-old while I took a shower. When I was done and came back downstairs to check on the girls, I found both of them sitting on the kitchen floor with the coffee cake in the middle. They were totally surrounded by chunks of cake and crumbs. The cake had huge craters in it where they served themselves their snack.

I couldn’t believe the mess that they made.

I decided that the quickest way to clean up the mess would be to get my vacuum out and suck it all up with the hose. So I got the vacuum out of the garage and started to suck up all of the mess, but I forgot to switch the vacuum from the beater bar to the hose mode.

When I went to switch it over, I discovered that a huge banana slug had crawled into the vacuum while it was in the garage.

I now had cake crumbs and banana slug guts all over my kitchen, my hair was still wet, the baby was awake and crying, my girls were covered in cake, and the woman I had invited over was due to arrive any minute.

I was ready to have a good cry, but I suddenly had a view of the situation from the outside, and realized that it was really very funny, so instead, I started laughing.

I managed to get most of the mess cleaned before she arrived and, when I told her about what had happened we both had a good laugh.

Johanna turned out to be one of my best friends, and we were always able to be real with each other. I learned that I can laugh at myself and the situations that I get into and it is makes life much more fun.

I also learned that one of the best things that we can do for ourselves and other moms is to be real.

When we share our failures with each other we let others know that we don’t have to be perfect.

-written by Nicole

Thanks for sharing, Nicole. I loved your story!

What about you? Have you had a mom-moment like this? I’d love to hear about it!
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