I met her four years ago. We were both pregnant. She with her sixth and final child, me with my third and "What was I thinking?' child. I'm four years older than her. She'll be 39 in late May this year. One week later, I'll be 43.
In many ways we are different. She is the member of a church that I am not. She and I have contrasting opinions on politics and a variety of social issues, although we've found more common ground than people might think.
I drink wine, she does not. She cooks with it and will send one of her children to our home to retrieve a brown paper lunch sack concealing a plastic container of Chardonnay or Cabernet Sauvignon for one of her recipes. I say to the helpful and obedient child, "Be careful. Don't open the sack or spill. Your mama needs this for her recipe."
In this woman, who is so different from me, I have found a kindred spirit. There are portions of our days, weeks and lives that are not compatible, yet she pulls me. The few common threads we share are strong ones.
I have friends who I've known and loved much longer than Supermodel. Friendships that require less struggle and no suppression of thoughts. Supermodel and I have had teeth clenched, tongue biting, nose snorting, heart pounding conversations and stare downs. Yet, she pulls me.
Three years ago, I recall standing in the doorway from our kitchen to our garage. Chris was away on business. Toddler Child was nine-months-old and I was exhausted. Supermodel had tried to phone me a few times within a couple of days and I hadn't answered her calls. Our garage door was open because the older boys were playing outside. I opened the kitchen door to the garage and saw Supermodel several feet away in our driveway. Our eyes met and she said, "What's wrong?"
I said, "It's my _____."
She took what seemed like two steps, reached her long and loving arms towards me, and I sobbed as she held me. She just held me. She didn't try to explain it or fix it, she simply soothed. I'll never forget it.
Among other reasons, this is why I call her Supermodel.